Friday, April 30, 2010

3 more down...

Does anyone else ever walk through the library and have that feeling that it is imperative to read EVERY book you see?  I want to start in the As and read through to the Zs....hmmm...maybe someday;)  Anyway, I have recently read three books and I wanted to share them.

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci was the book chosen for the high school book club last month.  I have to admit that I wasn't very excited to read about bio-terrorism plus I thought the book would be semi-"dated" because it is advertised as being post-9/11 and my students don't seem very interested in this topic.  I was SO WRONG!  This book is awesome and the book club loved it! 

The novel follows a group of teens who have been variously affected by a toxin in the water system of a suburban town in New Jersey.  A few of the teens have been infected, three deal with deaths in their families, and two are computer hackers who follow clues left on the web by the terrorists themselves.  The story unfolds with each chapter being told from the perspective of a different character.  I am a self-proclaimed computer geek so I really enjoyed all of the hacking.  The novel had a quick pace with a few twists and a definite ending, although a sequel has just been published.  In my opinion, a novel is great if it "sticks with you."  This one did and I still (after reading this a few weeks ago) get a bad feeling when I drink tap water....I very highly recommend this.

I also recently finished Candor by Pam Bachorz.  This was recommended to me by one of my student library aides was great!  The novel is set in a society controlled by messages.  Oscar's father created the town of Candor in order to escape the memory of Oscar's dead brother. He controls things by playing a series of messages in hidden speakers throughout town. People in Candor have great marriages, the kids dress nicely and do their homework, and everyone is fit and healthy....or are they?  Oscar has a secret business to help the incoming teens get out...before it is too late.  He meets a beautiful, goth-girl named Nia and can't bear the thought of her wearing pink and volunteering for the community.  He doesn't want to see her changed so he risks everything to help her.  Can he save her in time?  What will happen if his father catches him and realizes he is not a perfect son?

Reminiscent of The Giver by Lois Lowry, this novel will please readers who enjoy dystopian fiction.  It has some slow parts, but for the most part, the plot moves quickly revealing just enough to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  I didn't love the ending, but that is because I wanted something different for spoilers here!  Recommended.

The other day, I was lucky enough to get a package in school mail.  It was the new selection for High School-High Interest from Junior Library Guild!  Think Again by JonArno Lawson (illustrated by Julie Morstad) tells the story, in short poems, of a young couple who meet and fall in love.  The title does reflect the book in that the reader must really "think" to get this story.  By themselves, the poems are beautiful, but I'm not sure if most teens at my school will want to work so hard to get the whole point.  The illustrations fit well with the poems and they actually encourage the reader to "think" some more.  I read this twice and appreciated it much more the second time.  This is a book that readers could read several times and get something different out of it each time.  Again, I'm not sure this will reach a large population of our students, but it will reach some, which makes me happy!  Recommended for deep-thinkers and lovers of poetry.