Sunday, December 13, 2009

Roald Dahl's....

Danny Champion of the World

Random House Publishing Inc. NY 1975

Danny is a little boy living with his father, a mechanic, in a Caravan somewhere in England. Being fairly poor and without a mother all Danny has in the world is his wonderful father whom he thinks the world of. Danny's father fixes him hot chocolate and walks him to and from school every day. When his father is injured while out poaching Danny is there to rescue his hero.

Personal Review:
Roald dahl has a special place in my heart. I grew up with his books and love them very much. Full of fun, imagination and as always some brilliant child his books are ones that i'll never forget. I still have trouble spelling some words because I read so much of his works at a time when linguistic skills are still developing! He has a lot of twisted little crazy short stories he wrote for the enjoyments of adults too. Check out his site:

Other Children's Books by Roald Dahl that I Love:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Witches
Fantastic Mr. Fox
James and the Giant Peach

Warnings: None


By Donna Jo Napoli

Hush is about a spoiled Irish princess kidnapped by Vikings. It all starts when her brother's hand is cut off over a drunken gambling bet. Seeking revenge her father plans a counter attack to protect the honor of his now mutilated son that can no longer be the perfect king he was being groomed for. Melkorka, the princess becomes what she had always abhorred as royalty- a lowly slave. She finds that her power to not speak is something she can hold onto in her dark world with the misters that are her keepers. Her silence becomes something that makes the people afraid of her, giving her more power to go on.

Personal Review:
I really enjoyed this Irish tale, it was interesting to learn more about the time period and Irish people. I liked how Napoli showed us what a little bratt the princess was and her cruel views of slaves and then had her become that. Her characters are real enough to suffer through life lesson's. Having said that I think Napoli creates strong, human characters that YA's can relate to.

Warnings: slavery, sex, racism

Nicola and the Viscount

By Meg Cabot


So Yesterday

By Scott Westerfeld

Audio,Random House Audio Publishing NY 2004

Carter's job is cool. Yeah, ok he has a cool job but that's not what I mean... I mean that his job IS cool. He's a cool hunter. Carter, not fitting in when he moved to a new city spent so much time hunting down what would make him one of the cool kids that he became a little obsessive. He created a blog, just enough obsessive to land him a job finding out what's in and what's not for advertising. He meats Jen one day, a creator of cool, and they discover 'the shoe.' But not without cost, missing hair, lost of brain cells to bleach... two thousand dollars on a torn Jacket...

Personal Review:
So yesterday is a fun book for anyone remotely interested in fashion. It's an interesting write on the concept of cool and how teens go through what they do to be in the 'in.' I liked it, it was pretty entertaining and I learned a lot of little random facts about where neck ties came from and things.

Warnings: language

Saturday, December 12, 2009


By Chris Lynch

Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing 2005

Keir tells us his story, he's a good boy. He loves his Dad who is actually a depressed attached raging alcoholic. This boy, a "Killer" football star lives in a fantasy land. But then at the same time it's all he's ever known so if it's at all a reality it's his reality. It's when he forces his view of reality on someone else that things get bad, really bad.

Personal Review:
After finishing this book I walked out into the kitchen and chucked it on the floor. I felt bad because it's not even mine so I picked it back up and then dropped it back onto the floor. I had to pick it up again to see the publishing information... and its currently on the floor. I can't really express what I'm feeling or thinking about this book yet, other than that my actions are going to have to speak for now.

Warnings: rape, alcohol, language, drugs

Thursday, December 10, 2009

American Born Chinese

(a graphic novel)

By Gene Luen Yang

First second printing NY and London 2006

American Born Chinese is a fun quick graphic novel of three stories. One is of a crazy little monkey who masters Kung Fu and wants to be one of the Gods, the second is about a young Asian boy who moves to a new school and has trouble making friends until another Asian boy moves in. The third is about a boy named Danny with a Chinese cousin that comes to visit once a year and basically ruin's his social life. Eventually all of the stories connect with a message that young adults need to embrace who they are and be happy with that.

Personal Review:
The stories are laugh out loud funny edgy, the pictures fit perfectly, the expressions hilarious. I had fun reading it. The stories went buy quickly and it was different to me, having not ready any comic books before. I enjoyed it, every entertaining.
Warnings: Language, sexual.

Mara's Stories
Glimmers in the Darkness

By Gary Schmidt

Henry Holt company LLC NY 2001

Mara is a woman in a concentration camp with a big heart. Every night, even on the bad nights, she takes a small child into her lap and tells stories of the Jewish people to the other prisoners. Mara's stories bring light to the people when they fell like they're drowning in darkness.

Personal Review:
Short as this little book is it says a lot. It's very touching, I not only felt for the people but also learned a lot about the Jewish people and their culture. Mara's the kind of person we all hope we would be were we put in the situation those people were. She told the stories of people they wall wished they could be in the situation they were actually in.

Warning: War, torture, killing, brutality.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cherry Ames

Clinic Nurse

By Julie Tatham

Grosset and Dunlap INC.


Personal Review:
First I have to say "Oh me oh my." (Are you kidding me?) And, what a waste of time. No joke, that ANYONE read these books... for entertainment is a joke. And that's my humble opinion take it or leave it. Cruel that we pass these around class really. Cruel.

Cheery is a nurse who does the work of three nurses. She has a lovely little starched uniform and makes sure her patients get all of the TLC they need. (gag me.) For some reason when someone says "EMERGENCY" followed by "I'm a doctor" she jumps in a car only to discover she's being kidnapped. Nobody will believe poor little silly pretty headed Cherry! The best part is that she considers not going to the police because "the man was a doctor and doctors are amazing men that should be worshiped." I swear it said something like that... or at least implied it.

Warnings: extreme stupidity and brainwashing. I'm no feminist but here's where I draw the line. Sorry.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Pete Hautman

Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division NY 2004

Bock, Jason Bock. If you can't prove God exists how can you prove anything? Why worship something you can't prove? Water, the essence of life. Why not worship water? Or rather its tower? As the Kahuna of the Chutengodianism religion Jason leads his friends on an adventure, doing things he'd never thought he'd do involving the ten legged God. Some of his friends get a little overzealous in their worship, one becoming serioiusly injured while hte other is completely convined a metal tower is communicating with him.

Personal Review:
I'm not sure what Hautman's purpose in writing this book was. I don't know if he actually believes as his character does, that God is a joke but either way I found his writing style refreshing and immensly entertaining. I loved how Jason would go off on these little tangents in his mind just like everyone does. It was so funny and went so quick. Hautman did great job creating characters with memorable quirks and characterisits. Shinn was an awesome character, I love how you never really know what's up with him in the end either.

Warnings: Atheism

The Disreputable History of :
Frankie Landau-Banks

by E. Lockhart

Disney Hyperion books NY 2008

Frankie/ Bunny Rabbit just wants to be seen for what she really is. Struggling with her self concept, or the concept others have with her after she goes through puberty she does everything she can to prove she's not just some "pretty little head." She infiltrates a secret society at her prep school, lies to her boyfriend, demands vegetables and sends secret e-mails.

Personal Review:
Personally... not my style. I think Frankie's character is indeed a little messed up. I'm not a feminist and the writing style drove me crazy.

Warnings: Sex

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Looking Glass Wars:

Seeing Redd

Frank Beddor

Penguine Group Inc. NY


Seeing Redd, the second in The Looking Glass Wars now trilogy is the story of Redd's (her impuriel vicousness) tryrany on earth and her return to Wonder Land to defeat her niece Alyss, queen of Wondtropolis. Beddor once again presents a fantasy world highly entertaining.

Personal Review:
I had a hard time reading the first half of the book but once I got to the second there was enough going on that I really enjoyed it. The first book was so different than anythign i'd ever read that I was expecting the second to be just as different, it was similar to the first and the plot a little predictable but still a very entertaining read.

Squeal: Arch Enemy

WARNINGS: Drugs, murder

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Part Last
By Angea Johnson

Simon and Schuster, Inc.
New York, NY 2003

Bobby and Nia come from very different homes. Both love pizza and dancing, they have another thing in common. They're parents. The first part last is Bobby's view on becoming a father and caring for his little daughter Feather.

"I've been thinking about it. Everything. And when feather opens her eyes and looks up at me, I already know there's change. And i figure if the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing the beginning and innocent in the end. Then everyone could end their lives on their momma or daddy's stomache in a warm room, wating for the soft morning light."

Personal Review:

I usually have issues with books or movies that glorify teenage pregnancy and encourage YA to keep an infant when they cannot provide a mother and a father for them. Having said that I confess I really liked this book. Sometimes I think when parents are put in this situation- a pregnant daughter or a son who fathered a child they forget that it is possible that their child could love the individual even though they're young. I was amazed at how much Booby loved Nia. He really loved her. Even if he kept the little girl selfishly, to keep a part of Nia for himself, he really loved his girlfriend and daughter.

Warnings: Sex, language


by Ben Mikaelsen

Harper Collins Publishing NY 2002

Cole is an angry teenager bannished to an island in Alaska after brutally attacking a student at his school. He convinced the circle that he was interested in change but he immidiately allows his anger to control his actions the first time he's sent to the island. Near dead after being malled by a giant white bear Cole finally decides that this world is worth living in.

Personal Review:
I liked this little book, Cole's anger due to abuse is something that, tragically a lot of kid's today can understand. And if they're lucky to not understand this I think it would help YA readers to see where a person with such hate might be coming from. I liked the Circle of Justice and how they're actually workign on doing this now in the United States, it corresponds well with what we believe in the church, that people can change.

Warnings: languge, anger, violence

Thursday, November 26, 2009


By: Nancy Werlin

Penguin Groups NY 2008

Lucy was seventeen- high top sneakers and prom in a mini cooper. Everything was perfect, an innocent date that promised to stay sober and keep her safe. Her best friend Zach to see her off and parents who loved her.

Miranda. Glass shattered everywhere, her mother's bloody nose, Gray Spencer running away, her dress ruined. The beginning of the end for a family haunted by a Fairy Curse.

Personal Review:
This book is beautifully written and I enjoyed every Minuit of it. I liked that the author took a piece of music (that had some mystic around it anyway) that everyone knows and gave its old folk legend a story from today. I like fantasy so I loved the legend and magical fairy being woven into a modern every day story. I very much liked Lucy's Character, the author allowed Zach to have his hero's macho man thing while also allowing Lucy to be every bit the strong capable woman she can be (unlike some popular characters in not so great recent literature... Bella cough cough) They were a team, I liked that. Werlin also deals with some issues from the world today that we sometimes wish were only in novels in a very realistic way. When Lucy is raped the family supports her, she has therapy sessions and suffers from nightmares and decided what to do about her pregnancy. All of these things are very real issues that the author incorporated into her fantasy tale while making the issues remain realistic.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life Ender. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you."

Ender's Game
By Orson Scott Card

"I am not a happy man Ender. Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely
asks us to be brilliant on its behalf."

Young Adult Science Fiction

Tom Doherty Associates, LLC NY, NY 1977

Ender Wiggins, a third. A genies conceived to save human kind from the buggers of another planet. But, really... I should let this book speak for itself.

"I can see you find my mysticism distasteful. I assure you that your distaste only reveals your ignorance. Soon enough Ender Wiggin will also know what I know; he will dance the graceful ghost dance through the stars, and whatever greatness there is within him will be unlocked, revealed, set forth before the universe for all to see. "

"Of course we tricked you into it. That's the whole point.. It's the bind we were in. We had to have a commander with so much empathy that he would think like buggers, understand them and anticipate them. So much compassion that he could win the love of his underlings and work wiht them like a perfect machine, as perfect as the buggers. But somebody with that much compassion could never be the killer we needed. Could never go into battle willing to win at all costs. If you knew, you couldn't do it. If you were the kind of person who would do it even if you knew, you could never have understood the buggers well enough."

Personal Review:
I hate science fictiony stuff- I had never finished reading a science fiction novel until this book and I LOVED IT! It was absolutely brilliant, the writing is interesting, the characters complex and human. I was gripped till the very end and surprised around every corner.

WARNINGS: Language, Murder... disturbing child manipulation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

War Is...: Soldiers, Survivors and Storytellers Talk about War

Edited by Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell

Candlewick Press Massachusetts 2008

War is is a compilation of articles, letters, and stories from war survivors. All of the texts come from different perspectives- reporters, male soldiers, female soldiers... attackers, victims... veterans... civilians... it is honest and as real as War Is. Anyone considering signing up to serve in the Army should read this book. Its ugly but it is a chance for many voices of humanity to be heard by a nation.

Personal Review:
I had to force myself to read this book, I found that I'd nearly rather preserve my ignorance. War is ugly. I still havn't decided what I thought about the book, think about War. Human's are warloving creatures and it gave me a lot to think about.

WARNINGS: Strong language, death, rape, murder, torture

By Brandon Mull

Shadow Mountain Publishing Sep 11, 2007


Nate moves to a new town where he is quick to make friends... and enemy's. He and his three best friends spend their time riding bikes and running from bully's... one day they discover a candy shop run by an elderly woman who rewards small tasks they accomplish around the store with tasty treats. Soon she starts offering them powerful candy to accomplish secret missions. Dangerous missions.

Personal Review:
I loved the Fablehaven series and was excited to discover what else Mull had up his sleeve. I found The Flatman. Brandon Mull stretches the imagination, I loved reading this book. It's written for tweens but he's such a good writer and uses words I didn't know the meaning of until my third years studying psychology so... I loved it and would reccomend his books to anyone, young or old. They're just clean fun to read books! (Tween book)

Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.


La Linea

By Ann Jarmillo

Roaring Brook Press 2006 Conn.

"The mata gente. 'The people killer.' An ordinary freight train. And the only way North without paying a peso."

Miguel has been waiting for as long as he can remember for his Father to have enough money to bring him across the boarder to live in California. When he finally secures the money and realizes his Father had the means all along had he swallowed his pride he's hurt. Despite his anger he chooses to cross La Linea... unless his little sister ruins it for him. Miguel learns to stick with his family and to love and trust those who are doing the best they can, just like his Parents.

Personal Review:

This book was an interesting quick read. I liked the Spanish in it, just enough to learn and feel like you were a part of their culture without being irritated that you were ignorant of the meaning. Miguel's character seemed a little selfish at times but I thought it was a realistic portrayal of a teenage boy and his younger sister.

WARNINGS: talk of rape, murder














By ally carter

hyperion Books for Children 2006


Cammie is a Sophomore at Gallagher Girl's Academy. Her mother is the headmistress. The tiny town the school is in thinks its a prep school for snotty little rich girls. How wrong they are. But the prejudice runs deep and leads Cammie on a wild ride to discover what she really wants to be... the secret agent chameleon? Or a normal teen with a more than normal boyfriend?

Personal Review:
This book was a very 'teenage girl' read and I had a lot of fun with it. It's basic teen boy drama with a secret spy twist. I liked the writer's sense of humor and how many ways she found to create a 'spy girl' world that connected with what most of us have seen in the James Bond movies, very entertaining.



1983 Greenwillow Books
HarperCollins publishing

"I looked at Madison and raised my eyebrows.
'That's the kind of smartass crap we won't tolerate Banks!' Lednecky snapped.
'What?' I said in genuine surprise.
He pointed at me threateningly. 'You know what I'm talking about!'
I looked at my knee's and made and effort to keep my smartass eyebrows still."

Louie Banks spent months preparing for his senior year of football with his best friend Carter. He's in the best shape he's ever been and knows he'll have a fantastic season...
unless he decideds to quit.

Louie Banks is dating the hottest girl in the entire school. He'd do anything for her, follow her to college even just so they could be together, it will all work out... unless
its just not meant to be.

Chris Crutcher writes books that connect young teenage boys to the world of liturature. He writes about real life things that teenagers go through and talk about. Some of his books are a little bit edgy because... so is some of growing up.

Personal Review:
I enjoyed reading this book. My little brothers play football so I struggled with realizing that any of them could be goingthrough the exact same things as Louie Banks in a story. I think these books are not only good for YA's but also for parents. To remember what it was like to be a teenager and realize that they do go through things and can make their own decisions.

WARNINGS FOR RUNNING LOOSE: Language, Racism, Sexual content

Tuesday, October 27, 2009




By Jay Asher

Penguin Group Publishing

Hudson Street NY 2007

Clay Jensen told his mother it was a school project.
It did have to do with school... it was a project... and it would
change his life forever. Lucky number nine, the one not like any of
the others and still he'd blame himself. For not seein
g, for not knowing,
for not turning back and putting a stop to that snowball rolling down into
the darkness.

Hannah Baker was new in town. She thought she
could make a new life for herself there. Decide what others
thought of her, be different than before. Then she saw her name
on a list. A list she felt gave others permission that started it all.

Personal Review:
This book was an interesting read... the set up was brilliant with Clay's insights and memory's of Hanna as he listened to her tapes. You read this book thinking "how in the world could any teenager be so torn up about something that small to kill themselves?" But then you remember when you were in high school and how small-er things had a large impact on you and well... its a good reminder to give teen's a break. They're still growing, they're still learning... I liked it.

WARNINGS: Sex, suicide, rape

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lowis Lowry's

Gathering Blue

Random House Children's Books INC NY 2000

(This is my own beloved copy!)

Kira is a fatherless cripple raised by her mother in a hostile village who thinks she should have been killed for her disability. When Kira's mother dies she's all alone in a world that would have denied her of the life she's had. The council of gaurdians see's that she can weave beautiful tapestries and makes that her job in the community. On her search for blue Kira finds out things about her father that she never knew.

Personal Review:
I enjoyed the giver so this companion book also found a soft spot in the place of my heart I keep for good books! Kira's character is so sweet and you just want her to succeed. It's a great little companion book and I highly recommend her literature.

WARNINGS: None other than a society with creepy ideals.

After the First Death

Robert Cormeir

Dell Laurel-Leaf
Random House inc.
Broadway NY


"Miro's assigment was to Kill the Driver. Without hesitation. As soon
as the bus arrived at the bridge."

Cormeir creates a brilliantly twisted story about a terrorist group taking a bus of children on their way to a summer swimming spot hostage. Artkin and Miro- patriots of their own accord trained to kill take the bus hostage, drug the children and murder the driver. Ben- sacrificed for the greater cause by his own father, tortured by the terrorists for his faulty information.

Personal Review:

Robert Cormier is brilliant. This book is a total trip. It really makes you think about how your contry is viewed by other Nations and what is actually right in situations. I made my Mom read it too.

Robert Cormier

(Robert Edmund Cormier)
USA (1925 - 2000)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Mortal Instruments
City of Glass
By Cassandra Clare

Margaret K McElderry Books NY

City of glass mixes a fantasy world with the hustle and bustle of New York City. The main character, 15 year old Clary (a petite red head) lives with her mother in a little NY apartment. She spends her time hanging out with her best friend Simon, (who is actually in love with her) clubbing and drawing. Something strange happens when she realizes there's something different about her... she see's people at a club that Simon can't. Unknowingly being the daughter of a shadow hunter and the worst villain in their world can make life pretty crazy!
Personal Review:
This was a fun book to read.. not so sure i'd bother reading the rest in the series. It just felt too much like it was trying to be every other book. Most if it was predictable and the way the author puts you in the 'other world' wasn't that believable. It didn't make me want to be a part of 'their' world. The flying motorcycles and then vampires and dad's that are trying to kill you and magic.. it all just seemed a little harry potter tryign to be Bella who's Dad is Darth Vadar. Meh, pass.
WARNINGS: Languge, violence

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Taking of Room 114

By Mel Glenn

A division of Penguin Books USA Inc. New York, New York

"Mel Glenn is an award-winning poet and author of twelve books, including Jump Ball(Dutton 1997) and Split Image (HarperCollins 2000). Mel, born in Switzerland,,was raised in Brooklyn. After graduating college, he spent two years in the Peace Corps, (Sierra Leone), and then returned home to teach junior and senior high school in Brooklyn for 34 years. Mel retired in 2001 and now spends his time writing and appearing at schools, libraries and conferences. He and his wife, Elyse, also a retired teacher, have two sons, Jonathan a writer, and drew, a software engineer. Mel's website is

Your average seniors of typical Tower high school held hostage by their history teacher. Mr. Wiedermyer, a man sick of all the same excuses, the same remarks, the same stupid questions finally snaps under the monotony of his day in day out life as a teacher. Glen wrote this brilliant little book in poem form, you get to meet each of the students and travel with them through high school up until that dreadful day in; room 114.

Personal Review:
This book wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not big into poetry and I found the set up of the book irritating instead of intriguing. It just felt like the author was skipping the interesting parts and .. i just did not like it.

WARNINGS: Weapons, violence, sex, drugs

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Looking Glass Wars

By Frank Beddor

Dial Books
A member of Penguin Books Inc.
New York USA 2006

"Frank Beddor took the Lewis Carroll world of “Wonderland” and gave it a slight tweak here and bent it a just a tetch there and then, to use the language of the story, shuffled the deck with the deft of a Vegas card shark.

The world is familiar to even those of us only familiar with Disney’s version. But only just. And frankly this is just fine. No…better than “fine”.
-By Caleb Gerard

Alyss Heart; princess of Wonderland. A world born out of another s' imagination, gripping and exciting is the one that Alyss calls home. She grew up under her Queen Genevieve's rule where she lived in the palace and played tricks on the Walrus with her tremendous white imagination. On her seventh birthday calamity strikes Wonderland as her wicked aunt Redd overthrows the queen, possessing the crystal using black imagination. Seeing her mother and father murdered in front of her by her own aunt Alyss flees to earth with Hatter Madigan where she tries to forget her destiny as her people suffer from Redd's tyranny by every calamity known to the human race- substance abuse, thievery, murder, enslavement and countless other tragedies.

Personal Review:
OK, OK. So I'm a fantasy sucker, you caught me. I LOVED this book. I loved reading Lewis Carol's Alice books when I was a kid so this was like... just amazing. I don't know how else to put it but it sucked me into a world of adventure that I couldn't get enough of . The author is brilliant, the characters fantastic- This book has it all. Love, hate, revenge, fantasy, adventure... morphing playing cards... SO COOL!

WARNINGS: Murder, substance abuse, tyrannical leaders

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

She Said Yes

-The unlikely martyrdom of Cassie Bernall

By Misty Bernall
First pocket Books printing Sept 2000 NY

"it is easy to die for Christ.
It's Hard to live for him.
Dying takes only an hour or two,
but to live for Christ
means to die daily.
Only during the few years of this life
are we given the privilege of serving
each other and Christ....
We shall have heaven forever,
but only a short time for service here,
and therefore
we must not waste the opportunity."
-Sadhu Sundar Singh

On April 20, 1999 Cassie Bernall was shot in the Columbine High School Massacre by two troubled teens. She was seventeen years old and studying Macbeth in the library that day when the shooter approached, held the gun to her head and asked "Do you believe in God?" The last word from her lips was a testimony of her belief in a higher being- "Yes." Cassie Bernall is an unlikely martyr because of her troubling past- one that lead her to chilling fantasies that were not unlike her killers. But, because of loving parents, in the end, as her father said, she died daily for Christ and knew exactly what she stood for when she spoke that last word.Personal Review:
This books was pretty disturbing. I had absolutely no idea that a girl shot for believing in Christ had, in previous years been fantasizing about killing her own parents. This book is a great testament that humans have light and darkness in them, that we have the power to choose what we want to be and what our legacy is. Cassie could have been remembered for the exact same thing that took her life, murder. Luckily she had parents who loved her and friends who reached out, but she chose light.

WARNINGS: suicide, Murder, Drugs, Satanic worship

Diary of A
Wimpy Kid
By Jeff Kinney
Abrams 115 West 18th Strett NY

Jeff Kinney's brilliant graphic novel is about a boy named Gregg and his quest to become the most popular kid in school while not being infected by the cheese touch! It's a laugh out loud book that has kids everywhere soaking his books up like sponges. The characters and drawing are fantastic and the plot is something every person who's ever been to middle school can relate to.

Personal Review:
This book is AWESOME! Laughing out loud funny! The pictures are great but I thought the writing style was just as entertaining! It totally explains how little boys think and captures the funny little thing kids go through. Its something that kids can relate to and so can adulst because hey, we were all kids once right? Loved it.


Stuck in Neutral

by Terry Trueman

"My name is Shawn McDaniel. I'm 14 years old.
I think my father is planning on killing me."

Scholastic INC NY 2002

Stuck in neutral gives a brilliant teenager a voice from within a broken, sick body. Nobody knows that he is actually a 14 year old genius with his own thoughts, feelings, dreams and desire to live life to the fullest he can given the circumstances. This book addresses what families who have disabled children go through and many of the ethical decisions parents with disabled children struggle with. It's a story about love- how it's defined and a boys desire to love out loud.

The author of this story- Terry Trueman is the father of a boy named Henry who, like Shawn in his story has cerebral palsy. It some ways it seems as though this book was his way to cope with the challenges that come as he watched his son suffer from his condition.

Personal Review:
I found this little book to be a quick and interesting read. I wish I had read the authors note from the end of the book about his own son with disabilities before I'd read the entire book. Having done so I now find it interesting that he wrote a book about such a controversial topic. This book gave me a lot to think about and I'll never forget Shawn stuck in neutral.

WARNINGS FOR STUCK IN NEUTRAL: Sexual content, deals with deciding whether or not a human being should be given the chance to live in bad conditions.
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Scholastic books inc

Melinda Sordino is a teenage girl living through a hell on earth completely alone. The only person who knows what happened to her the night she called the cops is the very "it" she so wishes she could omit from her memory forever.
Laurie Halse Anderson does a fantastic job telling her story- her coping mechanisms, her day to day, her dark sense of humor, her peers, school,
parents and silent existence hiding from the world.

"Its easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say."

Speaking Out

Laurie Halse Anderson

Aspiring writers are often told to follow their dreams.


To tap into the interesting stuff, the dark blood of your heart, the hidden well, you must take another path.

Follow your nightmares.

My young adult novel, Speak, was born out of terror. I woke one night, in the winter of 1996, to the sound of a girl sobbing. I leaped out of bed and dashed down the hall to check on my two daughters. Sound asleep, both of them, no tears on their pillows. They were fine.

But I could still hear a girl crying, hysterical. She was in my head. It was a nightmare.

Continue reading at :

Personal Review:

This was one of those books you pick up and don't set it down until you've turned the last page and sat contemplating the effects of the novel for at least a half hour before returning to life. I really enjoyed the writing style... the morbid humor. I wanted to scream and fight for Melinda, slap her parents in the face and get this poor girl some therapy. But that's not always the way it works, some people fight the battles all alone. Very good, although do something fun after because its totally depressing to read.



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