Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stanely. Diane. Stella at midnight

Stanley, Diane. Bella at midnight. HarperCollins, 2006 0-06-077573-4//978-0-06-077573-5]
Bella's mother dies in childbirth. Her father who doesn't want to deal with children sends her off to be raised by peasants. Bella is not to be told she is royal. After several plot twists, Bella ends up saving the country from a terrible war. This 278 page book is a great story with a girl main character saving the day (if you can get past trying to call it "Stella by starlight.") She does save the day (or night) at midnight in the starlight.

Smith, Sherri L. Lucy the giant

Smith, Sherri L. Lucy the giant. Delacorte, 2002 [0-385-90031-7]
Lucy is large for her age.. so large she is called "Lucy the Giant." She lives in Alaska with her drunken father. After finding friendship with a dog doesn't work, Lucy runs away, hops on a small play and goes up north pretending to an adult on a commercial crabbing boat in very harsh conditions. The crew and captain become like a family to her but what will happen when one trouble-maker on the boat finds out the truth about Lucy. This is a great adventure story of a kid learning to deal with adversity and a troubled home life. Something many of our students must face. This 217 page book is a great read especially if you can get by the thing of a child being able to pass herself off an adult.. but we have done that before.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Booth, Martin. Soul Stealer [Alchemist's son II]

Booth, Martin. Soul stealer [Alchemist's Son II] Little Brown, 2006 [0-316-05993-5//978-0-316-05993-0]
Pip and Tim continue their adventures with Sebastian (a boy who has come back from the middle ages to fight evil.) When Pip and Tim notice strange things about one of their teachers and a student in school they tell it to Sebastian who is sure they are part of the evil force that they fought in the last book. This 242 page book is their continued adventures finding out they strange people and their evil plans to steal people's souls using very powerful magic. Every is fine in my mind until the evil people need to power of a nuclear power plant to fully operate their spell. The mixing of Alchemy from the middle ages and nuclear just didn't mix will for me. The first book in the series is great, but I did not care for this one at all.

Lygra, Barry. Boy Toy

Lyga, Barry. Boy Toy. Houghton Mifflin, 2007 [978-0-618-72393-5//0-618-72393-5]
This is the story of Josh, a HS boy whose life was totally changed by a teacher, Eve. One day Josh is invited home daily by Mrs. Sherman to help her with her Master's project. This was convenient for his parents because Josh's mother just got a job and was concerned about leaving him home alone. It isn't long before Josh fell in love with Mr. Sherman who he now calls Eve and their relationship grows closer and more physical. Their relationship can not be kept secret too long and Mrs. Sherman is arrested and sent to jail for child abuse. After five years of therapy now Josh has not been able to date or even maintain friendships. When Eve is released from jail they whole thing comes to a head. Josh decides he must confront Eve and finds her address online on a sexual predator site. Even though they are not supposed to meet, Josh goes to her apartment where she finally convinces him that she used him and never was in love with him. All except the neatly wrapped up ending, this 410 book is well written. I would NEVER recommend this book for a middle school. It is full of descriptive sexual situations. The sex is not overdone as it shows how Eve slowly entraps Josh into a relationship. It is really needed for the story. This topic is something we all need to think about and shows how a sexual predator can totally change a young person's life for a long time, if not forever.