Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rennison, Louise. Away laughing on a fast camel

Rennison, Louise. Away laughing on a fast camel [#5]. HaperTempest, 2004 [0-06-058936-1/978-0-06-058936-3]
Well, here we go again on a wild ride with Georgia. Her boyfriend (Sex God) has gone off to New Zealand and has broken her heart. The band finds a new lead singer from Italy who is dreamy and of course Georgia wants him (has the "general horn" for him.) There is the usual goofiness of her family, neighbors, friends, and Angus (her cat.) I am not sure if I would call this a complete book but then again, what kind of story do we have in the wild ride of silliness. This 275 page book will never be on your shelf, along with the others in the series. The older girls just love these books. Just be aware that she is a HS girl and talks about sexual things in a light fashion.

Lawrence, Iain. The convicts

Lawrence, Iain. The convicts. Delacorte, 2005 [0-385-73087-x]
Once again Lawrence has written a wonderful tale of 19th century England. Here we have Tom whose sailing father is sent off to prison, is convicted of a crime he didn't do sentenced to a prison ship docked in the river. Life on the ship is very harsh where Tom makes enemies and close friendships. Many of the enemies he makes are because of a mistaken identity. Eventually he is to be "transported" with other boys. On the ship he has a major surprise coming. As other reviewers have said, this 198 page book has a very Dickens feel to it. It is a great story for your historical fiction readers. Note: This book is not related to "The Wreckers" trilogy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Martino, Alfred C. Pinned

Martino, Alfred C. Pinned. Harcourt, 2005 [0-15-205631-9]
This is the tale of two very different young men in their senior year preparing for the state finals in NJ in two different areas of the state. One comes from a rich family in a rich school district, the other from a blue collar community. The reader gets wrapped up in their total commitment to wrestling. Meanwhile they are both also having personal problems. The rich boy's family is going through a divorce and believes he has gotten his inner city girlfriend pregnant. The other hates his coach and has a fright at practice and gets thrown off the team. Martino gets very specific about the locations in New Jersey, including street names. I just wonder whether it would turn off someone not from NJ (I am from NJ.) The there is a descriptive scene sexual scene with the boy who thinks he gets his girlfriend pregnant. It is more descriptive than I would feel comfortable letting most middle school students read. This is a powerful story for wrestlers but I would not recommend it for a middle school because of the one sexual scene -- there was no need to get that descriptive.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Scieszka, Jon. Me oh Maya

Scieszka, Jon. Me oh Maya [Time Warp Trio]. Viking, 2003 [0-670-03629-3]
Our friends, Joe, Sam, and Fred, are playing Basketball when suddenly they are whisked back in to to Mexico in the middle of a ring ball game where the loser is the next human sacrifice. Once again Scieszka takes us back in time in a humorous fasion using wordplay scattered with a bunch of facts. Here the Time Warp Trio has to trick the leader, Kakapupahed (Caca Poopoo Head) to a game which will help them win their time travel book back. This 70 page book (along with the others in the series) is a great high-interest low vocabulary read in which the reader is entertained and even learns something of history.

Amesse, Susan. Kissing Brendan Callahan

Amesse, Susan. Kissing Brendan Callahan. Rolling Brook Press, 2005 [1-59643-015-X]
Sarah, a middle school student is a budding writer and she loves one particular romance writer. Sarah's mother is part is running a writing contest and of course Sarah can not enter. Meanwhile, she begins to see long-time best friend, Brendan in a different light. He gives her a quick kiss several times in the book and sparks fly. Sarah is astonished when her mother gets Sarah's favorite author to judge the writing contest and have her work as the author's assistant. This starts a huge tangled mess centered around the authors less than wonderful life. This 149 page book is a good read concerning a first love, struggles with a mother and daughter, and the realization that an idol may not be everything one thinks.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: Ladies of the Lake

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: Ladies of the Lake. Dutton, 2006 [0-525-47693-8]
Gilda gets accepted as a scholarship student at an exclusive girls High School. While there she discovers that a student drown in the lake three years earlier and her ghost may be haunting the school. Gilda's investigations into the situation discovers the circumstances surrounding the girls death and the implications of the discovery rock the foundations of the school. Meanwhile her single mother starts dating a guy who Gilda does not like. This is the second book in a series of Gild Joyce, Psychic Investigator series. Everyone is comparing this book to Harriet the Spy but it is much longer than those books and takes place in a HS. This 339 page book was a great read and I can wait to start the other one waiting for me in the pile. Unfortunately, it has a juvenile looking cover which may turn off some middle school or older students.