Sunday, November 26, 2006

Crutcher, Chris. Stotan!

Crutcher, Chris. Stotan! HaperTempest, 1986 [0-06-00-492-3]
This is the story of four HS seniors in their last year of their swim team. The team will be abolished after this year. Suddenly in November their coach informs them of an intense training 5 day training session called Stotan in the week between Christmas and New Years. It is a super intense, body draining session that would bind the 4 of them together, not only physically, but emotionally. Now that they are all Stotans, they have to finish a VERY challenging senior year. This power 261 page story tells how rigorous sports training can help make men out of boys and help them face most any challenge in life they run into. At times the story is a little slow, but don't miss this one!

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. The destiny of Linus Hoppe

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. The destiny of Linus Hoppe. Delacorte, 2005 [0-385-73229-5]
This is a science fiction story where 14 year-old Linus is about to be tested by the "Great Processor" and placed into one of the three Realms. He has always been a leader in his class and his whole family is in Realm 1 too. Linus starts to feel guilty about being place in a realm where he has so many more rights than the people at the other levels so he conspires with a computer whiz friend of his to be have his scores switched with someone who will be going into level two. They want to defeat the system from inside. This 153 page book is part one of a series. In this book Linus goes through the test. In the next book he will be in the second Realm.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Grant, Amy. Pigboy

Grant, Amy. Pigboy. Orca, 2006 [1-55143-643-4\978-1-55143-643-2]
Dan is one of those fourteen-year-old kids who is picked on at school. He dreads the class trip to a pig farm because of the impending jokes (his name is Dan Hogg.) As soon as the class gets to the farm, things don't seem right. After they the slide down hill fast and they all get involved in a terrible situation. Of course, Dan is the only one who can save the day. Can he? While this 101 page book is predictable, it is a fun read. It is good for many ages.

Mass, Wendy. Sleeping Beauty [Twice upon a time]

Mass, Wendy. Sleeping Beauty: the one who took the really long nap [Twice upon a time]. Scholastic, 2006 [0-439-79657-1]
This is a cute retelling and expansion of the Sleeping Beauty story (much lighter than Napoli's books.) It is told told in chapters alternately by the Prince and Princess Rose. I found reading this 172 page book to be an enjoyable experience and plan to read others in the series.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Glenn, Mel. Foreign exchange

Glenn, Mel. Foreign exchange. Morrow, 1999 [0-688-16472-2]
This is another fiction book of Mr. Glenn 's which is written in a series of poems. It tells the story of a weekend HS exchange of students were some students are brought in from the city to a rural town for the weekend and their dance. One of the rural students (a popular blond girl) ends up murdered and the African American from the city is accused. The a series of poems told by many people in both towns (students, teachers, police, and other citizens) the story is charted out. By the use of poetry, this 158 page book gets the reader into the minds of the many characters who are dealing with fear, prejudice, jealousy, dating, gossip, and economic survival in a small town. You should be aware that this book deals with High School students and it talks about dating and making out in the back of cars (nothing very descriptive.) Once the reader gets into the medium of poetry, he/she will thoroughly wrapped up into the many characters minds and lives.

Meyer, L.A. Curse of the blue tatto

Meyer, L.A. Curse of the blue tattoo [Bloody Jack #2]. Harcourt, 2004 [0-15-205459-6]
In book one Jacky pretended to be a boy on the HSM Dolphin and by the time she was found out she had fallen in love with Jaime. The crew took her off the ship and placed her in a fancy girls boarding school in Boston. In this book Jackie struggles with becoming a proper young lady and gets in her share of troubles. The local preacher fancies her and tries to adopt her after adopting another girl from the school who mysteriously died. Jacky befriends girls in both the "upstairs" and "downstairs" of the school. The ending of this 495 page book is thrilling and when you reach that point, you will not be able to put the book down. It is a complete book but does lead into the third book in the adventures of Jacky. It is an exciting adventure for your better readers.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rifkin, L. The nine lives of Romeo Crumb: Life 3

Rifkin, L. The nine lives of Romeo Crumb: Life 3. Stratford Road Press, 2006 [0-9743221-2-1]
This is the story of the cat, Romeo Crumb's third life (out of nine.) Now the city is going through depression, everyone is short of money. The Alley cats have taken over the deserted factory where the sticks (domestic cats) used to hang out and are holding some sticks hostage. Romeo has to unite the cats to fight Fidel and the alleys to get back control but that will not be enough. Romeo succeeds to going down to the "vents" below the city were mutant animals (because of pollution) thrive. He unites them and some dogs to have a big battle and take back the factory. Romeo is a hero but when he gets very sick, is it so good to have nine lives? Each of the books have gotten harsher. The descriptions of the mutant cats and dogs in this 276 page book can be gross and the battles between the animals are bloody. It is not a cutesy cat story. I have several 8th grade boys who are into this series.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Lupica, Mike. Heat

Lupica, Mike. Heat. Philomel Books, 2006 [0-399-24301-1]
Michael is the star pitcher on his Little League team. Several years ago he, his brother Carlos, and his father arrived from Cuba. Now, a few month before Carlos is 18, their father dies and they try to keep it a secret so they will not go into foster care. This 220 is a sports story along with a touching story of two brothers trying to make it alone while hiding that their father died living in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. The reader shares the boy's fear of authority, Michael's adoration of El Grande, and his sudden attraction to a mysterious girl who suddenly appears. A great multi-level story.

Ibbotson, Eva. The haunting of Granite Falls

Ibbotson, Eva. The haunting of Granite Falls. Dutton, 2004 [0-525-47192-8]
Alex is the last surviving member of his immediate family and lives in the family castle with some servants and several ghosts. The ghosts and he get along well. Unfortunately Alex has to sell the castle for financial reasons and the buyer asks him to guarantee that there are no ghosts in the castle so Alex has to ask to ask the ghosts vacate. A multi-millionaire from Granite Falls, US buys the castle and asks Alex to help supervise the rebuilding of it in the US. The ghosts get lonely in their new home and travel to Granite Falls. There the ghosts, Alex, and the daughter get involved in with a mysterious group of thieves who mean to kidnap the daughter for money. This 216 page book is a fun ghost mystery in the style of Ibbotson's other ghost stories.

Lowry, Lois. Messenger

Lowry, Lois. Messenger. Delacorte, 200 [0-385-73253-8]
Matty lives with the Seer in the Village. The Village has always been open to visitor but when its residents vote to close it off, Matty must take one last messenger trip tell people of the Village closing and to pick up the Seer's daughter. To do this he must travel through the Forest, something he has done many times, but it has become haunted and more dangerous lately. Can he make it back with the Seer's daughter in time? Is he willing and/or able to face the danger? This 169 page book is a "companion" to her "Giver" and "Gathering Blue." It ties the three together.