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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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Con Academy

Title: Con Academy
Author: Joe Schreiber
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Well-Grounded Kids Who Like A Good Caper
Pages: 236
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION SCHREIBER

Synopsis: “Con man Will Shea may have met his match in scammer Andrea Dufresne as they make a high-stakes deal that will determine who gets to stay at Connaughton Academy, one of the most elite and privileged preparatory schools in the country, and who must leave.”

My Thoughts:

This was a lot of fun! There were some moral issues (it was so fast-paced I’m still debating some of the ends-justify-the-means-of-theft stuff) but, for a mature and well-grounded young adult, it’s a fun Ferris Bueler-meets-Mission-Impossible-esque adventure, if Ferris Bueler had been the son of a con man. There were also some really good points about personal growth and forgiveness.

For teens who might be concerned with sexual content, there’s a generic reference to “canoodling” and some kissing, and references to public humiliation via inappropriate pictures (in the primary case, clearly wrong,) but that’s it.

Marshall Islands, you’re always in my heart.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Adventure, Teen, Uncategorized

 

Valiant

Title: The Valiant
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: The Valiant
Recommended for: Grades 8 & up
Pages: 372
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Livingston, L. 

Synopsis: Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Reviews: I really, really liked this book. It read it super fast because I kept doing the “One more chapter” thing. Fallon is pretty kick butt, although, things do come a little easy to her. However, I still really enjoyed her journey. I’m super glad that the love triangle/complication that started in the beginning of the book wasn’t carried too far. There’s a lot of interesting plot twists, which I won’t spoil. My biggest complaint was I wished there was more fighting. For being a book that is supposed to be about a female gladiator there is very little description in the arena. It’s more about the intrigue/mysteries/secrets that happens outside of the arena. All that said, though, when I got to the end I was super glad to learn there will be a book 2. I will totally read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Historical, Teen, Uncategorized

 

Star Crossed

Title: Star Crossed
Author: Barbara Dee
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Graded 6-8
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link: J Fiction Dee, B. 

Synopsis: Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.


Review: 
This book is one of those that totally toes the line . The subject matter is totally more teen-ish, but with the cover it’ll never go in J. However, the book is still super sweet and there’s not even kissing beyond what happens in the play. The questioning is very straight forward and handled realistically. I honestly wish they would have put a better cover on it because I do believe that this type of book would circ a bit better in teen. However, I know kids are questioning at any age and I do think this book will be helpful/allow them to see their situation in a book, especially since for the most part it’s no big deal. (Her friends and anyone she tells accepts it.)

Of course, the books deals with way more than just questioning a crush. It deals with normal middle school stuff such as friendships, bullies, dances, being excluded, and more. All of this makes this book super recommendable to middle school-ers. This book is A+ in my opinion.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

Becoming Bach–New

 

Title: Becoming Bach
Author: Tom Leonard
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Pre-schoolers and up, especially for homeschoolers looking for an arts supplement.
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E B BACH, S.

Synopsis:

“Highlights the life and achievements of the eighteenth-century German composer and musician, and examines the development of his most important compositions.”

 

My thoughts:

This beautifully-illustrated biography of J.S. Bach does a good job of presenting a great composer to young children. I was nearly mesmerized by the lovely pictures, and just wanted to keep staring at them!

One note: the book describes the deaths of his parents as “after mother and father went to heaven…” Death is definitely a difficult subject for some families, and would be a great discussion point for this book.

The historical notes in the back of the book were also quite interesting; I’ve read some biographical material on Bach that seems to disagree with some of the author’s assertions (eg, my own research seems to indicate that Bach was asked to leave Arnstadt because he took a very long unapproved leave of absence from his position; insulted a student; and engaged in a physical fight with the man, rather than writing music that upset the Church authorities as the author asserts. However, verifying this would take more time than the desk really allows!) but the book itself is lovely and highly recommended! –Rebekah

 
 

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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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Conoce a / Get to know Gabriela Mistral

mistral

 

Title: Conoce a / Get to Know Gabriela Mistral

Author: Georgina Lazaro Leon

Series: Personajes del mundo hispanico

Recommended for:  grade 2-5 

Pages: 29

Call Number/Link:  SPA J B MISTRAL, G.

Synopsis: A quiet, shy, and humble little girl grew up to become a very important writer. How important was she? She was the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, the most prestigious award given to writers in the world!

Thoughts:  I like how these books are bilingual and are illustrated very nicely.  They are attractive to the eye and present the information in a storybook form while giving excerpts from their body of work. For a biography it was interesting and told their story fairly quickly and would be a great use for book reports or personal information.  We only have a few books in the series so they would have to be held and brought over from other libraries.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction, Spanish, Uncategorized

 

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