Friday, February 26, 2010

Riker's High by Paul Volponi

Teenager Martin Stokes is locked up for a  petty crime he didn't even mean to commit.  Through a series of miscommunications, his stay in jail has lasted much longer than was intended.  After another upsetting court date, Martin is sent back to jail and is caught in the middle of an inmate fight.  His face is slashed, marking him as either a brawler or a weakling, neither of which will help his cause.  Martin is moved out of the main "house" into a smaller unit.  Because his stay has been extended for a couple of weeks, he must attend a GED class while incarcerated.  The teachers are a unique mixture and Martin must learn to fit-in with the other students, all while thinking of vengeance for his new scars.  Readers are left to wonder if Martin will stay strong and make it to his release date or if he will give in to the jail games and get his revenge, prolonging his sentence. 

This book was interesting and even angered me at times.  It reminded me a little of Boot Camp by Todd Strasser and could also be paired with No Choirboy, a new HS Sequoyah nominee.  Recommended for teen boys.

Witch and Wizard

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Let me begin by saying that I really enjoy James Patterson's adult novels.  They are fast-paced and exciting.  I am not a fan of the Maximum Ride series.  I know, I know...teenagers love them, but I can't commit to a series that I don't love, especially one about kids with wings.  I was truly excited about starting this novel.  It has a great beginning, but I was left hanging at the end.  It actually says TO BE CONTINUED!  This might not have bothered me so much if the second book was out.  ARGHHHH! goes.

CRASH!  BOOM!  What is that noise?  Mysterious men have broken into the Allgood home and accused siblings Whit and Wisteria of some awful deeds.  They take the kids to a secret prison where they are questioned and treated cruelly.  Whit and Wisteria discover that they have special powers and as they are beginning to learn how to control them, they end up in a strange land.  They embark on a journey to find their parents and rescue the other imprisoned kids.  This novel leaves you with many questions that will hopefully be answered in book two.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two New Books

I finished two books over the weekend (reviews posted on Shelfari--you can scroll over their covers on the shelf on this blog to read them). I liked 7 Days at the Hot Corner, but did not enjoy Feathered. Both were very quick reads so I now I need to find another book. Thinking about trying the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. It has been recommended to me several times and I borrowed it from a student (Thanks, Tim!). Hoping to start it tonight...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Thief trailer on YouTube

Here is a link to the trailer of The Book Thief. Although this is being made into a movie, this is NOT the actual movie trailer. Enjoy!

The Book Thief

I LOVED this book! I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but this novel is so much more than that...this is the story of a young girl, Liesel Meminger. Liesel's mother must put her in foster care because she is unable to care for Liesel and her younger brother. On the train to her new home, Liesel's brother dies leading to her first encounter with Death, the narrator of this story. Liesel steals a book from her brother's gravesite, but is unable to read it.
Liesel is introduced to her new family and after some time, she adjusts to life with the Hubermanns. However, she is plagued with nightmares. When she awakens in tears, her foster father is there to comfort her. They begin midnight reading lessons to help Liesel catch up to her classmates. She becomes obsessed with books and words (love her!).
As tensions rise during World War II, the Hubermanns get a strange visitor. Max, a Jewish man, asks for their help and they decide to hide him in their basement. Although they are very poor, the family is mostly happy until one fateful day when Hans Hubermann tries to help a Jewish prisoner on the way to Dachau, the local concentration camp. This is a must read! It is about friendship, family, death, survival, war, and much, much more. I highly recommend this!