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Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

3P JKT Geeks_Guide.inddTitle: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love
Author: Sarvenaz Tash
Series:
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Tash, S

Synopsis: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

My Review: I absolutely love, love, LOVED this book. The geek culture is pretty spot on. There was nothing that made me want to say NO THAT’S ABSOLUTELY WRONG. And they treated the whole geek culture very nicely. Tash didn’t portray them as “loser” or “nerds” they were just every day kids who loved Comic Books. In fact, one of their friends who went with them, who though it would be “nerdy”, ended up loving and it even says she can see why they love it so much!

The love story is spot on as well. I love how it was handled. I don’t want to give too much away in that area, but it was totally realistic. And honestly, while I was kind of cheering for it to go a different way, I was very happy with how it ended up. If felt perfect for the situation and seemed like something that would happen to one of my teens.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Realistic, Romance, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Defender

25902252Title: Defender
Author: Graham McNamee
Series:
Recommended for: 8th Grade & Up
Pages: 240
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McNamee, G

Synopsis: They call her Tiny, but Tyne Greer is six foot six, a high school basketball star who is hoping the game will be her ticket out of the slum. She lives in a run-down building called The Zoo, where her father is the superintendent. One day she discovers a crack in the wall of an abandoned basement room. And sealed up in the wall is a girl’s body. Horrified, she runs to get her dad. But after he goes to take a look, he comes back and tells Tyne that nothing’s there. No girl. No body. He tells her she must be seeing things in the dark.

Tyne is sure it was real, though, and when she finds evidence that the body was moved from the hole in the wall, she knows the only one who could have done it is her father. But why? What is he hiding?

Tyne’s search for answers uncovers a conspiracy of secrets and lies in her family. The closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous it becomes for her. Because some will do anything to bury the past…and keep her silent.

My Review: I really liked this one a lot. It was quick read and would be perfect for reluctant readers. This murder mystery is engaging and sucks you right in & holds you all the way until the end. (I only guessed who it was towards the end & the reason I couldn’t place at all!) The ending felt a bit jarring, but I understand that the author was just trying to wrap all any loose ends/answer questions that the reader may have. There’s a couple of unbelievable moments, but for the most point this was was right on target.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Mysteries, Realistic

 

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Crossing the Line

crossingthe lineTitle: Crossing the Line
Author: Meghan Rogers
Series: The Raven Files
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 356 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION ROGERS, M 

Synopsis: Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and trained as a North Korean spy, but the tables turn when she becomes a double agent for the very American spy organization she has been sent to destroy.

I have read a decent amount of books that portray teens as spies and this is one of my favorites.  I feel that the danger level in this book is comparable to that of the Alex Rider series. Jocelyn has been trained for ten years to be a spy by the North Koreans.  The North Koreans use torture and keep her addicted to drugs to control her.  Through all of this Jocelyn stays strong and defiant looking for her chance to escape.  I highly recommend if you like spy thriller novels, like Alex Rider.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Teen

 

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The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits

Wonderful habits of rabbits cover

Title:   The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits
Author:   Douglas Florian
Series:   —
Recommended for:   Preschoolers, kindergarteners, elementary school students.  College students who need a poem in picture book form.

Pages:   32 p.
Call Number/Link:  E Florian, D.

Rating:   ****

 

Synopsis:

Join a family of rabbits as they have all kinds of fun throughout the day.

Comments:

Hurray!  A book for college children’s lit students who need a poem in picture book form!!!  I am so glad that poet Douglas Florian decided to publish a picture book this year.

Actually, I think it deserves a little more enthusiasm.

Hip Hip Hurray!!!

The students could use it for these project themes:  rabbits, seasons, nature, animals, family, a day from beginning to end, activities, habits

It is also a great choice for preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary school students.  (It could also work for older students doing a poetry unit and anyone who likes poetry and/or picture books.)

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Picture Books

 

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The Great and Only Barnum

barnumTitle:  The Great and Only Barnum:  The Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum
Author:  Candace Fleming
Series:
Recommended for:  5th grade and up
Pages:  160
Call Number/Link:  J B Barnum 
Synopsis:  It is unlikely that Barnum ever actually said “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but he freely admitted to being a master of the “humbug”—a spectacle that both fooled and entertained the public. This highly readable biography uses primary sources, including Barnum’s own words, to trace the man’s roller-coaster life from his boyhood in Connecticut to his early career as the creator of the country’s most famous “museums” (comparable to sideshows) to his later role as the master of enormously successful circuses, winning and losing several fortunes along the way. Fleming captures Barnum’s exuberant personality and describes how his gift for promotion and dedication to delivering what the public wanted made him the world’s most famous showman. She also reveals the private Barnum, a man who valued culture, had deep religious beliefs, and devoted considerable time and funds to charity and public service. Fleming is admiring of Barnum, but does not dismiss his weaknesses and faults. The text is supplemented with sidebars and reproductions of period photos and illustrations, including several of Barnum’s advertisements. The bibliography includes Web sites and a selection of primary- and secondary-source books, and notes are done in paragraph format. This book goes beyond traditional biography to give students an objective and informative glimpse into the sometimes-exploitative world of 19th-century entertainment. An outstanding choice for all middle level and secondary collections.

Another biography with an awsome title.  I actually read this a while ago a just pulled it out again to re-read.  Who wouldn’t want to read a biography of Barnum?  Especially ones with pictures of sideshows, bearded ladies, and other circus performers.  It’s a great look at how we’ve changed in our definition of ‘entertainment’ and how we view those who are ‘different’.  Barnum is also the man who basically created ‘celebrity’, publicity and marketing.  He was a larger than life man who lead a larger than life existance.  Another awesome biography that’s more than just facts and figures.  It really does help bring Barnum and his world to life.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Historical

 

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Ten Days a Madwoman

TEN DAYSTitle:  Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter Nelly Bly
Author: Deborah Noyes
Series:
Recommended for: Grade 5 or 6 and up
Pages: 144
Call Number/Link:  J B Bly, N.

Synopsis:  Daring? Turbulent? Madwoman? When a book’s title includes those words, readers are bound to be inspired to open it. When the book is as well done as this one is, readers will stay through the last page. About half of the narrative is devoted to the 10 days that journalist Nellie Bly spent undercover in an asylum for mentally ill women (and women who were put there unjustly by their families). Given the high drama of these real-life events, the author’s matter-of-fact writing style keeps the narrative from veering toward sensationalism. Passages from Bly’s newspaper article about the experience are threaded into the narrative, thereby keeping her vibrant viewpoint as the dramatic center. The rest of the volume covers Bly’s other exploits, personal and professional: her venture around the world in a record-breaking 72 days, her interview with imprisoned anarchist Emma Goldman, and her own marriage at 31 to septuagenarian millionaire Robert Seaman. The illustrations are a mix of straightforward archival photos and surreal retouched photos à la Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Quirk, 2011). Because the former are captioned with historical facts and the latter are not captioned at all, it is easy to tell the difference between the actual images and the fanciful. Noyes makes history accessible and irresistible in this thrilling account of women’s lives, flagrant abuse, scandal, courage, and tenacity. The source notes are extensive, and the research is impeccable. VERDICT This excellent work is a natural fit for units on history, biography, and social studies.

I really loved this book.  I’ve started on a quest to find awesome biographies to recommend a this is a great one.  The title caught my attention but the writing and the story kept it.  Few (if any) kids today have even heard the name Nelly Bly.  Which is sad considering what a trailblazer she was for women and how much her stories influenced the world at the time.  The treatment of those in the asylum and of women in general would probably be shocking to a young person today. If we ever get a middle schooler who needs a biography (and hasn’t already picked one) this is a great one to recommend.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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Into the Dim

intothedimTitle: Into the Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Series: first book in series
Recommended for: 7th grade and up
Pages: 425 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION TAYLOR, J. 

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Hope Walton travels back in time to help rescue her mother, a member of the secret society of time travelers, who is trapped in twelfth-century England in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I like the whole time travel aspect, but this book was just ok.  I almost didn’t finish the book because I just wasn’t interested.  I was not big on the main character, who in the beginning is portrayed as weak and has tons of phobias, but then all of a sudden she is able to overcome all her phobias.  I really wouldn’t recommend the book.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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