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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Labyrinth Lost

27969081Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas
Recommended for: Grade 7th and up
Pages: 336
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Cordova, Z. 

Synopsis: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Review: I love, love, love this book. First of all, this Latinx world is so rich and full of depth. From the underworld that mimic Dante’s Infernal to her family (including her ancestors) to the magic, it’s all done so well. For most of the book, Alex’s family isn’t even present, but they were well rounded and you felt like you really knew then even though the focus wasn’t really on there. Even her grandma, who really is only present for one scene–you just get a deep understanding of how important family really is. I also loved that they were latinx for all over the world and not just one spot–because most family ancestries are nice and messy like that.

Alex is a great heroine. However, she’s deeply flawed, which I actually loved. She doesn’t have it all figured out. She struggles almost every step of the way. Yes, she never wanted magic, but she never meant to banish her family as a way to do it! The journey is about righting that mistake and coming to terms with her magic/things about herself along the way. I also really loved that Alex was bisexual and it was no big deal. Not to her family, her friends, or anyone else. She struggled if she really felt about Rishi that way, but it was more of “do I really have a crush on a friend” than “do I really have a crush on a girl.” It was simply no big deal and it was portrayed in a healthy way as well. All around, I give this book two thumbs up.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Fantasy, Teen

 

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Ashes

ashes

 

Title: Ashes

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Series: Seeds of America Trilogy

Recommended for: 6th grade and up

Pages: 298

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION ANDERSON L.

 

 

Thoughts: This is the third book in this thrilogy and she took quite a few years to complete the third book.  I did like the completion of the story because it was a realistic account of what could have happened to people in that era.  I loved reading about how other people may have lived and all the trials they underwent. I think teenagers will like this book if they like having a peek at a different time in history. Curzon and Isabel are very well developed in the three books.

Synopsis: As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Ghost

28954126Title: Ghost
Author: Jason Reynolds
Series: Track
Recommended for: Grades 5-8
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION REYNOLDS, J.

Synopsis: Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life

Review: I liked, but didn’t love this book. I’ve enjoyed Reynolds’ other books a bit more. However, I do think the kids will eat this one up. Ghost is a character you can relate to and he is far, far from perfect. You can’t help but root for him even when he does something stupid like steal something. There are some heavy topics of abuse, but nothing that late elementary/middle school can’t handle. I do adore the relationships between Ghost and his coach & teammates expands over the book. Bonus points for the book being about track, which there hardly ever seem to be books about. I’m highly interested to see where the series goes and look forward to reading future installments.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Juv, Realistic

 

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Grounded: the Adventures of Rapunzel

groundedTitle: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
Author: Megan Morrison
Series: Tyme
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Pages: 374 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION MORRISON, M.

Synopsis: Rapunzel believes she is the luckiest person in Tyme, because Witch tells her so, but when Jack climbs into her tower to steal an enchanted rose, he hints that Witch is not telling the whole truth and Rapunzel, driven by her anger and fear, descends to the ground for the first time.

Rapunzel is a very innocent girl, who has only had contact with Witch.  Witch is her only source of information and she has no reason to doubt Witch.  One day she gets a visit from a boy named Jack. Jack informs her that they have met before, but Rapunzel doesn’t remember it.  He leaves, but not without leaving a ladder for her to climb down if she chooses to follow.  Our of concern for Witch Rapunzel goes to stop Jack and that is just her beginning of her adventure.  She meets many fairies and people on her journey that helper to become a stronger more informed person.

I liked this retelling of Rapunzel it was a fun read.  Since Rapunzel has never been out of the tower, everything to her is new and interesting.  I also like that she became her own person, not what others would want her to be or do in the end.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in Adventure, Juv

 

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Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer

theodore-booneTitle: Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Series: Theodore Boone
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Pages: 263 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION GRISHAM, J.

Synopsis: With two attorneys for parents, thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most lawyers do. But when a high profile murder trial comes to his small town and Theo gets pulled into it, it’s up to this amateur attorney to save the day. 

Theo is a good kid who likes to help others. He happens to know the law because of his parents both being lawyers. So kids come up to him with their parents problems and ask for help.  That felt real unrealistic to me, but this is fiction.  In this book Theo is approached by a kid that knows a persons that is an eyewitness to a huge murder trial. This would be the only eyewitness to the murder, but the trail is already underway and Theo does know what to do.  So most of the book he is trying to figure out what to do, while random cases come to him.  This was an ok read for me.  I was expecting a lot more out of John Grisham.  The whole time I felt like I was getting lectured.  I may try reading the next to see if this first book was just setting the stage for the next in the series.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in Mysteries, Teen

 

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Moo

moo-cover

Title:   Moo   
Author:   Sharon Creech
Series:   —
Recommended for:   I don’t recommend it
Pages:   278 p.
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION CREECH, S.

Rating:  **

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech‘s Love That Dog and Hate That Cat will love her newest tween novel, Moo. This uplifting tale reminds us that if we’re open to new experiences, life is full of surprises. Following one family’s momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between twelve-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow. When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora. This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.

Comments:

I’ve been trying to force myself to read this book for about 5 weeks.  I really liked Love That Dog and Granny Torrelli Makes Soup so had every expectation that I would enjoy this book too.  Logically, I should have been able to finish the book in one or two evenings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it for more than half an hour at a time.  I normally would have abandoned it after one or two attempts, but wanted to write my review about it.

I. just. can’t. finish. it.  I dislike the parents too much.  They “volunteered” (forced) their children to go to the home of a creepy old woman to do chores for her, even though she terrified them.  The parents weren’t willing to spend time outside with the children while the children “got to” shovel cow manure, but they thought it would be fine for the children to help at the farm every day.  The little boy was traumatized by having to deal with the nasty old woman, but the parents didn’t show any evidence that they cared.

There is the chance that this book will win awards, but I’m still unwilling to read it.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Juv, Realistic

 

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