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Category Archives: self-esteem

Max

 

max

Title: Max

Author: Sarah Cohen-Scali

Series: N/A

Recommended for: High School

Pages: 421

 

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION COHEN-SCALI, S.



SynopsisSet in Nazi Germany. 1936.

In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen.

Max is taken away from his birth mother soon after he enters the world. Raised under the ideology and direction of the Nazi Party, he grows up without any family, without any affection or tenderness, and he soon becomes the mascot of the program. That is until he meets Lukas, a young Jewish boy whom he knows he is meant to despise. Instead, the friendship that blossoms changes Max’s world forever.

My Thoughts: This was a very intriguing book because it was historically based on a far out Nazi program that actually existed during the Third Reich.  So for historical fiction buffs that would be a great read, as long as you don’t the cover, it is a little intimating. I enjoyed the story and the struggle that Max had with his friend he considered a brother.  The ending was shocking but not surprising.

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Series:
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages:  317
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION NESS

Synopsis:  In this highly satiric exploration of the “chosen one” genre, an incredibly normal group of friends are approaching the end of high school and their parting of ways. Mikey is just trying to get through the year and hopefully ask his longtime crush to the prom. Similarly, each person in Mikey’s close-knit circle of friends is battling a myriad of highly relatable issues: jealousy, various insecurities, and dysfunctional family relationships. The beginning of each chapter also contains an update in the concurrent story line centering on the “indie kids.” These are Mikey and his pals’ extraordinary peers, those from exceptional families who are exclusively chosen whenever there is a supernatural occurrence. They’ve fought off zombies and fallen in love with vampires, and now they’re being targeted by the Immortals, a mysterious group looking for a permanent Vessel. In the end, Mikey and his friends come to grips with the ways in which they are both ordinary and extraordinary. 

I picked this book because I really liked the premise.  What DO the ordinary kids do while the chosen ones battle monsters?  Unfortunately the story fell flat for me.  Maybe it was because I listened to it as an audio book, but I found it very hard to enter the story and really care about the characters.  It’s written in kind of a stream of consciousness style that really didn’t work for me.  Each chapter starts with a brief description of what’s happening with the ‘indie’ kids followed by a chapter about the ordinary kids.  It all felt disjointed and disconnected and I got to the point where I really didn’t care what happened to the characters.  Kids who are fans of this kind of narrative (like ‘Going Bovine’) might like this and it’s gotten lots of praise from reviewers, but not from me.  Sorry.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Dystopian, Fantasy, self-esteem

 

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

 

Title: The Boy on Cinnamon Street

Author: Phoebe Stone

Series: N/A

Recommended for: Grades 3-7

Pages: 234

 

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION STONE,P.



Synopsis: 7th grader Louise should be the captain of her school’s gymnastics team – but she isn’t. She’s fun and cute and should have lots of friends – but she doesn’t. And there’s a dreamy boy who has a crush on her – but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her – so what is it that’s holding her back?

Phoebe Stone tells the winning story of the spring when 7th grader Louise Terrace wakes up, finds the courage to confront the painful family secret she’s hiding from – and finally get the boy.

My Thoughts: I thought this was such a fabulous book because it was cute, touching, and relatable. I would definately label this realistic fiction because that could happen to and has happened to many people.  So sad because you do not expect what the family is trying to keep from Louise until she can come to terms with her past by herself.  I think this book would work well for upper elementary school and middle school readers because of the immaturity of the characters.

 

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Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack

JacketTitle: Calamity Jack
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Nathan Hale illustrator.
Series: N/A but “sequel” to Rapunzel’s revenge
Recommended for: 4-8th Grade
Pages: 144
Call Number/Link:  GN J HAL
Synopsis: Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler…maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk. With help from Rapunzel (and her trusty braids), a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people…while catapulting themselves and readers into another fantastical adventure.
Review: This is a great book, a fine sequel to Rapunzel’s revenge. This features a coming of age tale of a trickster hero realizing his potential. The art is magnificent and invoked a strange mix of steampunk and classic fairy tale styling. Add to it an element of mystery–“Who are the ants?” and you have a rollicking tale that is sure to impress.

 

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Spinning Starlight

SpinningStarlight-678x1024Title: Spinning Starlight
Author: R.C. Lewis
Recommended for: Middle and High School
Pages: 327 
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION LEWIS, R 

 

 

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen must save her brothers in this outer-space retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans.

Review:  I picked this up because I loved the cover, but I wasn’t quite sure I would like something about an “heiress and paparazzi darling.”  Thankfully, I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings, especially if there is something special about them.  This is a futuristic (and other-planetary) sci-fi that addresses the issues of genius, the supernatural, the meaning of life, the value of the written word, and specialization vs. generalization.  Mostly, however, it is a story about a girl who loves her brothers so deeply that she is willing to risk everything to save them.  The connections to The Wild Swan were well done, but did not interfere with the world building.  There is romance,  but I let my 8 year old read the book.  I don’t know if she will like it, but there is nothing objectionable in it.  Recommended for fans of Cinder.

 

Dumplin’

dumplin

Title: Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Series:
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages: 384
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION MURPHY

Synopsis:  For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I loved Willowdean.  She and really all of the other characters are well developed, real and so much fun. The book addresses all kinds of teen problems and angst without being at all ‘preachy’ or serious.  Crushes, friendship problems, bullying, hurt feelings, insecurities, heartbreak, Will faces them all and comes out on the other side with her sense of humor and self esteem intact.  Willowdean and her circle of friends come to embrace who they are and believe in themselves, not in what others think about them.  Will is a great inspiration for any teen who feels they don’t fit in. As one reviewer put it, “I am happy to tell you no one loses weight in this book, and no one feels compelled to explain how a hot guy could fall for a full sized gal. Thank you. Seriously. Instead, you can expect to find some cross dressing Dolly Parton impersonators, myriad references to the song Jolene, and big girls showing up weird, loud, and proud to walk the beauty pageant catwalk.”

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Funny, Realistic, self-esteem, Teen

 

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