Friday, March 30, 2012

Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden

Taking some 'me' time and a nice break from reading mandatory young adult books, I chose to read an African American genre book. I don't normally read a lot of these books, if I read them I usually pick them up by accident, sad but true. This one however, I chose because it is set in Mississippi.
If you don't read AF fiction often, start with this book! It's funny, moving and chalked full of sex. Set around many characters and different circumstances it tells their stories. Who is the narrator you ask? The city, Money. That's right. This book is told by the city that it is set in. Unique doesn't even describe this. Brilliant and wonderful are 2 words that come to mind. This book is one that you can't put down and want to know more about. 5 out of 5 stars!
Read this book! It's worth your time, laughter and even anger (b/c something awful happens in the book).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo is a young man who is considered autistic but once you read this book, you realize he is smarter than anyone knows. He spends his Summer working in his father's law office and there he meets Jasmine. Jasmine is a no nonsense young lady who accepts Marcelo and never once makes fun of his mental capabilities. Throughout the story you see this relationship become something more but Marcelo doesn't know what it is?
There are characters in this book, like every book, that I truly hate. These characters, Wendell is one, is just evil and you despise him before you even meet him (at least I did).
I learned a few things from Marcelo reading this and one of those things is to never judge someone based on what society labels as their mental capability. That person may surprise you in the end. I think this is a great read and a must read for anyone who knows or has a child with mental handicapped, especially on any part of the scale of Autism.

Vampire Knight Vol 1 by Matsuri Hino

This was my first ever Manga to read in my life and I only did because it was for an assignment for class. That being said, WOW!! I can totally see the draw to Manga and graphic novels. Not only do you get a story but you get pictures (illustrations) the whole time you are reading. I have to commend the author on this story. As someone who LOVES vampire stories (minus Twilight- cause it's not a true vampire story, vampires don't sparkle) this Manga novel is awesome and I think adults could even learn to love this story and type of genre. The story centers around a school that has day classes and night classes. Can you guess which classes the vampires are in? It centers around 2 characters, Zero and Yuki who are the guardians of the secret of the night class. The events that unfold will make you laugh, cry and at times leave you bewildered. If you have never read a Manga before, you should know going in that you read one right to left. That's right. Backwards. The illustrations are amazing! There are author's notes throughout the book also to fill you in on how the book/story was brought to life.
Give it a try. The only thing bad that can happen, is you find out you don't like Manga.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

This is an interesting novel based on the Johnstown Flood in the 1800s. The author notes that the story is not about the flood but some events from the flood are found in the story.
The story is told through poetry from different views of characters. The main story surrounds Peter and Celestia and the possibility of the breaking of the dam. The other characters that tell their story are a nurse, a wife of a train engineer and the father of Celestia. If you are not a big fan of poetry than you may have a hard time reading this story but if you make it through you won't regret reading it. The writing style for sure aggravated me at first, as I am not a fan of poetry. The plot and the characters were exciting to me and it made me appreciate the life I have and live.
3.5 out 5 stars in my book. Poetry is the reason I'm deducting, I just get bored so easily. If you fight your way through until the action, you will enjoy this book. Give it a chance!
*the author does note that in Pennsylvania there are museums and memorials that you can visit that are dedicate to the real flood of Johnstown in the 1800s.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

WOW! This book is awesome. If you ever wondered how Panem in The Hunger Games became to be in its state of poverty and haves and have-nots, then read this book. This book could be the story about how Panem was brought about.
An apocalyptic story told through the journal of 16 year old girl the before, during and after affects of the 'end of the world' scenario plays out. A great discussion for teens nowadays due to all the mumbo jumbo of the end of the world being near, according to all the naysayers.
This book really puts into perspective what could happen if we aren't prepared and it also makes the reader want to rush out and by a wood stove.
4 out 5 stars..the main character is a too whiny but grows up fast and the circumstances that shove her in the right direction make you proud of her in the end. (but the whineyness is toooooo much in the end)

Written in Bone by Sally M. Walker

If you're a fan of non-fiction than you should really pick up a copy of this book! If you are a fan of the television show Bones, also pick up this book.
I am not usually a big fan of non-fiction but this book captured my attention from the very beginning. It is set in Maryland and gives you a great history lesson about who settled here and how archeologists, geologists, and other scientists work together to collect information about ancestors long forgotten. It has detailed pictures and it discusses the findings of the bones and artifacts in a way that even 6th grade students can understand it. A great tool for teachers who are discussing the history of Jamestown and/or Maryland. The author includes where the sites are and you can even visit these sites.
Great book for home-schooled children in the VA, MD area.
5 out 5 stars on my list! Educational, great pictures, and great information for students and adults alike!

Intro & Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Intro about Me: I'm currently in a Young Adult Literature class for my graduate studies in Library and Info Science. So far, I have liked about 90% of the books we have read in the class. I'm starting with the books that we were to read this week in class, and then I'll go back and catch you up as time allows in my schedule. These are all different books so you may or may not like them if you choose to read them. I hope you do choose to read at least a few of them. Librarians, Teachers and Parents could learn a thing or 2 about their teens by reading some of these books.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The book is about a young girl in high school who tells her story through cassette tapes to the 13 people she thinks made her do what she did. Clay is the character that we meet that has the tapes now and is listening to them in one night so he can find out what, if anything he did to her. The chapters are set up as Tape 1;side a, and so forth as Clay listens to the tapes. You can really sense his feelings of hurt, disbelief and confusion on why HE is on the tape. The author does a great job at differentiating between Clay's thoughts/actions and Hannah's story on the tapes.
I would give this a 4.5 out 5 stars on my list. 1/2 deduction because you never learn about how her parents are dealing or if they tried to help her. The ending, for me, made me cry so have some tissues handy.