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Tag Archives: friendship

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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Optimists Die First

Title:   Optimists Die First
Author:   Nielsen-Fernlund, Susin
Series:   —
Recommended for:  teens who like books that deal with death, family problems, betrayal, support groups – and a little romance. And fans of The Fault in Our Stars, The Breakfast Club and other books/movies where unlikely strangers wind up becoming friends.
Pages:   228 p.
Call Number/Link:   Teen Fiction Nielsen, S.

Ratings:   ***

 

 

Synopsis:

Since her sister’s death, Petula de Wilde sees danger in everything. A mandatory art therapy class with a groups of teenage misfits is the worst part of each week. She wants nothing to do with them– especially Jacob and his prosthetic arm. When they work together on a project, he helps her with her fears. But a secret he’s been keeping from her could unravel everything….
Comments:
I think we’ve all heard the saying:  “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  I know I have.  And that I still sometimes choose a book to read because the cover grabs me.  Most often, it is because the cover features delicious looking baked goods.  But in this case, I liked the contradiction between the cover and book title.  It looks like the front of a homemade knitted sweater… with skeletons and the title Optimists Die First.  So I read the front flap and found out that the protagonist was in an art therapy group.  Be still my heart!  I’m kind of fascinated with the idea of art therapy, although I only know a little about it.
The book didn’t completely grab me, but I still liked it.  The art therapy group kind of reminded me of the support group in The Fault in Our Stars.  This may be a stretch, but the change in how the group members interacted at the beginning and at he end of the book made me think of The Breakfast Club.  Thus, I think the book could be a hit with teens who like problem novels, support groups, The Fault in Our Stars and/or The Breakfast Club.
And I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that there is a romance….
 
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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Realistic, Teen

 

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The Catawampus Cat

Image result for the catawampus cat

Title:   The Catawampus Cat 

Author:   Jason Carter Eaton
Series:   —
Recommended for:  grades Pre K-2 as a read-aloud, grades 2 and up for children to read by themselves.  
Pages:   32 p.
Call Number/Link:  E Eaton, J.

Rating:   *****

Synopsis:

A cat comes into town that walks on a slant, and shows everyone how to see life at a different angle.

Comments:

This book is very entertaining to say the least. When the Catawampus Cat comes to a very dull town, he forces the townsfolk to tilt their heads when they look at him, which changes their perception of the world they look at. Long lost friends are brought together again, missing personal items are found, and everyone in the town embraces their own individuality by viewing life at a different angle. Not only is the story engaging, but the illustrations are captivating to the eye. By using a combination of mixed illustration media, the cut and paste type images spread throughout the book give a certain depth to the story that makes it seem almost life like. I would highly recommend this book.

 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Picture Books

 

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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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Tony

Title: Tony

Author: Ed Galing

Illustrator: Erin E. Stead

Pages: 32 pages

Recommended for: Pre K- 2

Synopsis: A young boy tells the story of his admiration, and friendship, with the local dairy delivery horse.

Although the narrator never reveals himself in the book, you get a sense that he is a young boy, living in the early 1900’s. He tells the story of the local dairy delivery horse named Tony, his owner Tom, and how much he loved getting to see him early every morning. Tony is described in the book as, ” All white, large, sturdy, with wide gentle eyes and a ton of love”. This book is beautifully poetic, with wonderful illustrations. This book has fewer words, but the illustrations definitely make up for that. The soft colors, and almost dream like pencil strokes, make this book hard to put down.

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Bedtime, Picture Books

 

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The Underdogs

underdogsTitle:  The Underdogs
Author: Sara Hammel
Series:
Recommended for: 5th grade and up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION HAMMEL, S.

Synopsis: The big reveal in this mystery is not who murdered golden girl Annabel Harper at an exclusive Massachusetts tennis club—though that’s startling enough. No, there’s actually a far bigger surprise. In alternating chapters, narrator Chelsea fills readers in on all that happened the weeks before Annabel was found dead by the side of the club’s pool, and after, as a local detective examined motives and opportunities among rising teen tennis stars, rich kids, and club personnel. Annabel was a fixture at the club, where her older brother was a lifeguard, and was especially nice to Chelsea and her best friend, Evie. Beautiful and sweet, Annabel attracted a great deal of attention and jealousy. But who could have disliked her enough to murder her? As with most good cozies, the suspects are numerous and the detective is tenacious. He has to be—as Evie and Chelsea follow him around and make dangerous discoveries on their own. Meanwhile, Evie, who is teased for being overweight, discovers she has a natural gift for tennis, though her tennis pro father seems not to notice. Readers learn more about Chelsea’s mysterious and abusive past before the club’s manager adopted her. The plot is well-thought-out, and though there isn’t a great deal of character development, except in Evie’s case, there doesn’t have to be for this mystery to score. VERDICT Once they get to the end, mystery lovers will want to go back and read it all again to find the hidden clues.

I wasn’t sure about this book at first.  It took me a while to get into it.  It might be because there isn’t a lot of character development except for Chelsea and Evie.  I hung in there through the first couple of chapters to learn more about them.  It was worth it.  I really didn’t see the twist at the end coming, and that doesn’t happen very often.  I would recommend this for mystery lovers and for kids who like books with puzzles and problems to solve.  There aren’t individual puzzles, the book itself is one big puzzle.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Juv, Mysteries

 

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Plum Fantastic

2761560Title: Plum Fantastic
Author: Whoopie Goldberg
Series: Sugar Plum Ballerinas
Recommended for: Grade 2-4
Pages: 160
Call Number/Link:  J Gol 

Synopsis: Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson does not want to be a beautiful ballerina, and she does not want to leave her friends in Apple Creek. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop her ballet-crazy mother from moving them to Harlem, or from enrolling Al at the Nutcracker School of Ballet.

Life is hard when you’re the new ballerina on the block, and it’s even harder when you’re chosen to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the school recital! Not only is Al a terrible dancer, but she’s also got a rotten case of stage fright! Al’s ballet classmates are going to have to use all the plum power they’ve got to coach this scary fairy!

Review: I actually really liked this book. While the ballet stuff is the foundation of the story, it’s really about making new friends, helping each other, and overcoming fears. I really liked the friendships and how they all bonded together to help Alexandrea learn her steps and perfect the routine. This would be a great book for those interested in dance or just a realistic book

The wording is still a bit on the large size with shorter chapters and illustrations here and there. Great transition books for those who need something a little harder that say rainbow fairies, but not ready for full chapter books.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

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