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Tag Archives: family relationships

Just Friends

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th – 12th grade
Pages: 302  pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION PITCOCK, T.

Synopsis:Told from both viewpoints, after Jenny and Chance, a bookworm and a popular heart throb, pretend friendship to save a doomed assignment, they are shocked to find a real friendship–and more–developing.

Comments:  Jenny and Chance have fifteen minutes to learn about each and then present what is learned in front of class.  There time is up before anything is done, so Chance and Jenny pretend in front of the whole class that they have been best friends forever.  They make up a silly story and each takes a turn embellishing.  It gets them the grade, but also starts their friendship.  I love the back and forth banter between these two.  It was a quick fun read.

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Realistic, Romance, 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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Ghosts

GHOSTS Front Cover

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier

Series: N/A Expected Publish Date September 13, 2016
Recommended for: 8th – 12th grade
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link:  GN TEEN

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Opinion:  I was asked to review an ARC copy of this book for my library.  I thought it was quite good.  Nice to see that there is going to be an interesting graphic book about Dia de los muertos.  This book is well written and respectful of the topic. I really liked the ways in which they explained the spirits though the ending is a bit different.  A must read if wanting to know more about the topic but definately meets a fans expectation of great visual quality at the level of a teen. I would recommend for middle and high school readers.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Resistance

Resistance

Jacket (1)Title:: Resistance
Author: : Carla Jablonski ; illustrated by Leland Purvis ; color by Hilary Sycamore.
Series: Resistance trilogy
Recommended for: Grades 5-9
Pages: Unpaginated
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAB
Synopsis: A couple’s bucolic French town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII. When their friend goes into hiding and his Jewish parents disappear, they realize they must take a stand.
Review:  This is a tough book, but important. It is about the occupation of France as told from the point of view of children. The authors work hard to make the story gripping without being melodramatic. The excellently capture the fear and uncertainty of war coupled with the power of family. End notes in the book talk a bit more about the war and reasonably discuss the idea that war is filled with shades of grey, explaining some of the ideas as to why people might collaborate with the Nazis.

 

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Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold

Title: Harold and the Purple Crayon
Author: Crockett Johnson
Series: N/A
Recommended for:
Pages: 239
Call Number/Link:  E JOHNS
Synopsis: One night Harold decides to take a walk in the moon light with his purple crayon. Go on an adventure with Harold and his purple crayon in this imagination filled classic.
Review:  Let Harold and his purple crayon take you on an adventure filled with dragons, hot air balloons and pie!  In a world of technological distractions this book is a great way to remind us all to have fun and use our imagination. There are quite a few books in this series that are just as fun as the original.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Bedtime, Picture Books

 

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Stay Where You Are & Then Leave

 

Jacket0EZ8DK5F

Title: Stay Where You Are & Then Leave

Author: John Boyne
Series: N/A

Recommended for: Grades 3 thru 8
Pages: 245
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION BOYNE, J.

Synopsis: The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight; but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission. While shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie realizes his father is in a hospital close by; a hospital treating soldiers with shell shock. Alfie isn’t sure what shell shock is, but he is determined to rescue his father.

MINOR SPOILER ALERT AT THE END!

Alfie’s journey from an innocent 5 year-old to a 9 year-old child of the war is very interesting.  In some ways he has become wise beyond his years, and in other ways he is very much a young child.  His desire to help support his mother is very mature, as is the way he decides to do it. His determination to find his father and bring him home is admirable but unrealistic. This book might be a challenge for some kids because it mentions things that would be unknown here due to the different country in which the story occurs and the time period.  It discusses conscientious objectors and internment and touches on the horrors of war.  I did find it interesting, and I would recommend it as realistic fiction. But I think, from an adult perspective, the ending was too easy and not realistic.  Sometimes you cannot wrap up all the loose ends in a nice little package. It just doesn’t ring true.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Juv, Realistic

 

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Not if I see you first

Jacket3WPIZMCT

Title: Not if I see you first
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th thru 12th grade
Pages: 310
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION LINDSTROM

Synopsis: Blind sixteen-year-old Parker Grant navigates friendships and romantic relationships, including a run-in with a boy who previously broke her heart, while coping with her father’s recent death.

Parker Grant lost her sight at the age of seven in an accident that killed her mother.  As a coping mechanism, she created what she refers to as “The Rules,” and she expects everyone in her life to adhere to them. “Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.” “Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.”  Through these rules, and many others, I was drawn into what it is like to be a blind teenager (as much as I could be).  With the recent death of her father, she is trying to continue on with life in a no-nonsense fashion.  She has a quick wit and a gift for sarcasm.  Things get complicated when she meets a boy who doesn’t treat her like a blind girl, and her former best friend/boyfriend begins attending her high school (she hasn’t spoken to him in two years). Luckily she has some true friends who help her navigate the ups and downs of life.

I loved this book!  It drew me in right away, which surprised me because I wasn’t convinced I would like the book when I read the book jacket.  The struggles of high school as a teenage girl rang very true (I was a teenage girl back in the day!).  The insights into being blind were very interesting to me, and made me think about so many things I take for granted as a sighted person. The friendships were genuine and the emotions very raw at times.  I highly recommend this book for someone looking for realistic fiction.  It is a safe book to recommend if the patron is looking for a book without sex.  The most physical interaction in a make-out session in the back seat of a car.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Realistic, Romance, Teen

 

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