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


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