Friday, March 27, 2009

Hobbs, Will. Go big or go home

Hobbs, Will. Go big or go home. HarperCollins, 2008 [978-0-06-074141-6]
One night Brady, who lives in the Black Hills, is watching a meteor shower out his window when hears a crash. A meteorite the size of a potato crashed through the roof of his house and into his bedroom. He promptly names it "Fred." The meteorite has dormant bacteria which give Brady extra strength and agility. When the bacteria decide to go dormant again, so does Brady. What will happen when people think he is dead? Meanwhile in the 185 page book, Brady's cousin Quinn visits and they go on "extreme adventures." There is also the neighborhood bully family which hassle Brady. This is a fun science fiction story mixed into the outdoors adventure style of Hobbs. It is not his usual style

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paolini, Christopher. Brisingr [Interitance #3]

Paolini, Christopher. Brisingr [Inheritance #3]. Knopf, 2008 [978-0375-82672-6]
This third book in the series gets back to the feel of the first one (I did not like #2.) The Varden now are at war with the Empire. Roran, Eragon's cousin, asks him to marry him and his love. Then Roran goes off to war where he has his ups and downs under various commanders. Eragon and Sophia must go on an adventure where must visit the elves and dwarfs to gather their support for the war. While there he finally gets his own sword made. This 763 page book is a lot of reading but holds the readers attention as the first book did. It is strange how I notice this in many series that book 2 is not as good as book 1 and 3. This series which was to be a trilogy, will have a fourth book to finish it (so says the author.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spinelli, Jerry. Love, Stargirl

Spinelli, Jerry. Love, Stargirl. Knopf, 2007 [978-0-375-81375-7]
At the start of this book Stargirl and her family have moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania, leaving everything behind her, including Leo. This 274 page book is written in a form of a letter to Leo about her experiences in this new town. She does not attend HS because she is home schooled. In the course of this story (or letter) she gets to know a crazy little girl, a troubled girl who is struggling with growing up, an delightful agoraphobic lady who has not left her house in 6 year and a mysterious young man who doesn't attend school much. This boy has a lot of Maniac Magee in him. Throughout the year of this story, Stargirl is making a solar calendar which will finish on the winter solstice. Both Stargirl and the people in this small town will be forever changed by the presence of Stargirl. Will she fall in love with this mysterious young man... or will her feelings for Leo hold strong?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hennesy, Carolyn. Pandora gets jealous

Hennesy, Carolyn. Pandora gets jealous. Bloomsbury, 2008 [978-1-59990-196-1 // 1-59990-196-x]
Pandora (or Pandy to her friends) has a big school project due and can not think of a great idea. All except bringing in the special box of her father Prometheus. She knows it contains evil things and it should never be opened. Well she decides to bring it to school and under peer pressure, it gets opened and all the evils are let out. She is dragged before Zeus, Hera and the council of gods and is given a chance to gather all the evils up before they destroy the world. This starts her and her friends out of the adventure of this 264 page book. The story is told in a light fashion and although it takes place in ancient times, the school situation and peer pressure makes it feel like a current day situation, making it readable for many kids. Although this story does have an ending, there are at least two more books in the series. Although it is much lighter, it might be a good one to follow the Percy Jackson series especially for girls.

Deuker, Carl. Gym candy

Deuker, Carl. Gym candy. Hougthon Mifflin, 2007 [978-0-618-77713-6 // 0-618-77713-x]
Mick loves football.. it is his whole life. His dad was a football hero. He and a friend get a chance to play varsity but he does not have the power to threaten the first string player's position. To get stronger he works out harder and starts drinking protein drinks and taking supplements. When Mick joins a private gym and has a trainer he resists taking the steroids that are being offered at first. Eventually he sees them as the only way to get the power and endurance to get where he wants in football. He decides to only take some in the summer to bulk up but against his own better judgment, he steps them up a notch. This 313 page book tells the story of a boy trying to look better in his father's eyes and his own eyes and what he will do to get better. It is the story of how sports can drive his whole life, at the loss of friends, and girl interests. The side effects of steroids are described in the story and lead to the dramatic end to this book. While the "gym candy" was the center piece of the book, I did not feel the author got too preachy. It is hard to tread that line as an author. This is an important book to have in your sports collection along with the others by Deuker.