Saturday, April 29, 2006

Huser, Glen. Stitches

Huser, Glen. Stitches. Douglas & McIntyre, 2003 [0-8889-553-9]
Travis lives in a trail with his mom, his tough dad, the other kids. When he enters Junior High School he finds two teachers that encourage his interests in play-writing and sewing. He also becomes best friends with a physically handicapped girl. Being the only boy in the sewing class at school, Travis is picked on by rough kids at school. Thus Travis's life at school is a mix between good things and the fear of these three tough kids. For their final 9th grade project Travis joins with his friends to produce an extensive production of a Midsummer's night dream. It is a raving success but can the three tough kids let everything end happily? This 198 page book is the story of a boy not interested in "boy things" living with a tough father who doesn't understand and some kids who constantly tease him. Travis and the handicapped girl.. two kids are learning to be different.

Funke, Cornelia. Inkspell

Funke, Cornelia. Inkspell. Scholastic, 2005 [0-439-55400-4]
WOW..I think this sequel to Inkheart is better than the first! We are back with Meggie, her family and friends in a place where certain people who read out loud from a story will transfer characters from the story to this life and back and forth. Now Meggie, her mother, father, Dustfinger are back within the story along with the original author of the story. The author notices the story (and world they are in) is changing from what he has written. He starts writing new sections of the story having a "reader" read it. This unfortunately changes things not quite as he imagined them. Meanwhile back on the real world, Elinor is being held captive in her house by some characters who have come out of the book. It is all much to complicated to explain here. All I can say is that this 635 book paints an incredible picture of two worlds wrapped up in a fantasy situation. It is a "meaty" read which took me a long time to get through and the writing is beautiful (even though it is translated) but don't miss this series.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Konigsburg, E.L. The outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

Konigsburg, E.L.The outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Atheneum, 2004 [0-689-86636-4]
After she is rescued from a terrible time at a summer camp Margaret is excited about spending the rest of the summer with her two eccentric uncles who live on Schuyler Place. For more than 40 years these uncles have been building three towers out of scraps of metal, and glass. Each summer Margaret gets to mix up a color of paint for they to touch up the rusting spots on the towers. Well.. they neighborhood has changed over the years and is now becoming the trendy place to live and the neighbors do not like the towers. They get the town to go along with having them destroyed. Margaret spends the rest of the summer trying to save the towers. Are they an eye-sore? Are they a work of art? Do the new neighbors have the right to destroy a neighborhood institution? This 296 page book is the story of a young girl trying to save the main reason for her maverick uncle's lives.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jeans, Peter. Stoker's Bay

Jeans, Peter. Stoker's Bay.Cygnet, 2003 [1-876268-97-2]
Angus is sent to a residential High School on the coast where he becomes best friends with Kes early on. The two go through the struggles of being away from home for the first time. As the story progresses and they get older, Kate comes into the picture. She is a good friend to them both and eventually a love interest for Angus. Kate's father hires a local to do some work on his boat who takes a liking to Kate (much to her chagrin.) The 222 page book ends in much excitement when the (former) hired hand kidnaps Kate and Angus and Kes go to rescue her. Will the three of them ever forget what happens at Stoker's Bay? How far does friendship and loyalty go when someone dies? The first quarter of this book is enjoyable although very slow as the two boys and later Kate progress through their years at school. The excitement all happens at the end. This story takes place in Australia so one must be aware of things like summer vacation includes Christmas. I thought it was a bit of self-promoting the way the author kept mentioning what happened in his previous book.