Friday, November 27, 2009

Korman, Goran. Pop

Korman, Gordan. Pop. Baltzer & Bray, 2009 [978-0-06-174230-9]
Marcus and his mom move to a new town. He was the star quarterback in his previous town but when he shows up at his HS for tryouts at this town, he is faced with a championship team that is well-knitted together. He gets on JV. Meanwhile he start practicing at a local park where he runs into this strange middle aged guy who teaches him how to tackle and take hits. This guy is very unpredictable and eventually starts doing strange things which end up getting Marcus involved in the law. This 260 page book is such a multi-dimensional story. It great sports story that deals with moving to a new town, getting your first girlfriend, getting in trouble with the law, keeping secrets out of loyalty, and also the terrible degradation of Alzheimer's disease. The over-riding theme is serious but Korman deals with it using his wonderful sense of humor. This is a great book, right up there with his "A semester in the life of a garbage bag."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brooks, Kevin. Lucas

Brooks, Kevin. Lucas. Chicken House, 2003 [978-1-905294-17-6]
WOW.. Can I say it again? WOW! Kevin Brooks is now my most favorite author from the last few years. Once again he writes a very powerful story. A loner (Lucas) wanders into town and Cait falls for him. He is mysterious and lives alone in the woods. The local group decided they don't like this "gypsy" even though he is not one and decides to frame him in a plot to get rid of him. This 361 page book is definitely not for elementary students. There are attempted rapes (not descriptive but you know what is happening) mob violence, mugging and more. In the middle of this Cait falls in love with this loner. This is a POWERFUL book. I can't tell anything about the ending.. but to give you a hint... I couldn't put it down and almost an accident! If you have Jr. High or High School students, Kevin Brooks books are a must!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: The dead drop

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: The dead drop. Dutton, 2009 [978-0-525-47980-2]
Fourtreen-year-old psychic investigator, Gilda, gets to spend the summer as an intern at the "Spy Museum" in Washington, D.C. Because someone older suddenly takes sick, Gilda gets to be a counselor at their week-long summer spy camp. Once again she gets involved in ghosts in try ing to solve a mystery. Since the story takes place in Washington, she also gets involved in international intrigue. This 300 page story is a fun and engaging tale but I have the same complaint that I have with her other books. The cover illustration looks more juvenile than the book so you have to explain the story to 7th and 8th graders to get them to pick it up. Otherwise they think it is a "kid's book."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lupica, Mike. Long shot [Comeback kids]

Lupica, Mike. Long shot [Comeback kids]. Philomel, 2008 [978--0-399-24717-0]
Pedro is a great basketball player and loves playing for his 6h grade team. He is not a hotdog, but a real team player. Ned is the other star player on the team and they play well together. Ned not only is a good athelete but also the most popular kid in school and is expected to become class president. Pedro decides to run for class president also will this change their relationship at school and more importantly will it change how the interact with each other on the court? This 182 page book is a good piece of sports fiction. There is not only the story and action on the court, but also other plots going on in the story. Lupica has written a book for upper elementary...increasing his audience from his other great YA sports books.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cockcroft, Jason. Counter clockwise

Cockcroft, Jason. Counter clockwise. HarperCollins, 2009 [978-0-06-125554-0]
Nathan lives alone with his father, Henry after his mom passed away before the book started. They are not a happy family, not having much communication then one day after school Nathan runs into a Beefeater (story takes place in England) who tells him that his father is going to go back in time to prevent his mother from dying. If Henry successfully stopped his wife from dying, it would change the time progression in which they are living. This 202 page book can be interesting to a student interested in time and time travel.. otherwise, it could be very confusing. I kind of enjoyed it because the implications of time travel always have interested me.

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days [#4]

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog days [bk 4] Amulet Books, 2009 [978-0-8109-8391-5]
Well in book four, it is now summer. He has an argument with his best friend, Rowley and Greg wants to spend the summer inside playing video games...not if his mom can help it. This 218 page book continues along like the others.. very entertaining with its humor and cartoon strip type illustrations. No matter how many of these books I own, I can not keep them on the shelves!