Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Wrinkle in Time

L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle In Time. Wrinkle_In_Time_Cover

New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1962. Print.

Annotation: Meg and her friends are spirited to another world by three extraterrestrial beings where they find her father and undergo many adventures and terrors before they free him.

Booktalk: If you had the opportunity to time travel, would you? If you could chose the time, what time period would you travel to? The past? The future?

Meg Murry and her younger and very intelligent brother Charles Wallace are going to travel by way of the tesseract. How to travel by tesseract you ask? It is a wrinkle in time of course. This possibility of instantaneous time and space travel in the fifth dimension seems practically “normal” as the characters travel to and from and in and out of planets and time.

Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend Calvin will travel through time and space with three celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Why must they time travel? Because Mr. Murry, Meg’s father, has been missing for a year and is in grave danger from the Black Thing. This is an science fiction adventure of good versus evil. You will fine that we are connected to the creatures from other planets if the rising of IT and the darkness takes over our universe. Will Meg’s abilities to love wins against the IT to save herself, her family, and her friends?

Honors & Awards

  • Newberry Medal
  • Sequoyah Book Award
  • Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
  • Runner-up Hans Christian Anderson Award
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Horn Book Fanfare Best Book

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YA voices: Jaryn, age 14

Anything that takes me out of my usual life to something fun! I like science fiction just for that reason. I get to let my imagination go wild and I love the interesting things authors come up with.

Tyshanna, age 16

The content of fantasy or mystery generally won't be the same as the books I've read before, so i can always count on having something reasonably original to read.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rapunzel’s Revenge

Hale, Shannon & Hale, Dean. Rapunzel’s Revenge. Illustrated by Nathan Hale.

New York, NY: Bloomsbury, 2008. Print.

Annotation: In an Old West setting, the familiar tale of Rapunzel with her 30-foot braids sets out to break free of her tower prison and defeat Mother Gothel. Rapanzuel

Booktalk: How many of you have tried reading a novel in pictures? (wait for response). Yes, I am talking about a graphic novel where the story is propelled by the fantastic pictures of a story in action. (Hold up to see front cover of book). This is the familiar tale of Rapunzel, who is taken away from her family and kept captive by the evil Mother Gothel. This re-retelling has a Old West flair and many new twists along the way. First, the story does not begin so badly for Rapunzel. She is living in a beautiful garden villa where she is practically a princess. [show page 4-5]. Rapunzel has a reoccurring dream that troubles her and not knowing what is on the other side of the tall garden wall. [show page 8]. She finally makes it to the top of the wall to see that the people live in a wasteland [show page 12] and not at all in a beautiful place like her villa. This discovery leads her to find her real mother, the image from her dream! Many questions later and a very angry Mother Gothel, Rapunzel finds herself in the tower [Show page 26]. If this was the traditional story, we would think all she has to do is wait for her prince – right? This Rapunzel is not a damsel waiting to be rescued but takes her own destiny into her hands. She is going to discover her own talents and motivation to escape the tower and defeat Mother Gothel. In her journey she will find the surprise help of another familiar storybook character. Any guesses of who could be a love interest for the spunky Rapunzel? (wait for response) The story is full of action and even a touch of romance watching the adventures unfold through the graphics. You won’t want to put this story down to see if Rapunzel finds her own way to happily ever after.

Honors & Awards

  • ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • Amelia Bloomer Project Selection
  • An Al Roker Today Show Book Club Pick
  • An IndieBound Next Pick
  • Cybils Award (Graphic Novel)
  • YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
  • YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults
  • Texas Maverick Graphic Novel List
  • Utah Book Award
  • Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee

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A Step from Heaven

An, Na. A Step from Heaven. step from heaven

Asheville, North Carolina: Front Street, 2001. Print.

Annotation: A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.

Booktalk: How does your own culture define who you are and what you become? Four-year-old Young Ju leaves her small fishing village in Korea for a new life in "Mi Gook" – America. This place makes her parents smile and all Young Ju knows about Mi Gook is that people say it is heaven to live there. Her family takes the bus that flies in the sky so that must mean they are going to heaven. After arriving in American, her family laughs at this misunderstanding and tells Young Ju it is almost as good as heaven. Let us say it is a step from heaven. As time goes on, Young Ju feels further and further from heaven. Her family has very little money and rents a small, dingy apartment. At her new school, it is very hard to get her tongue around the new language. Her experiences are told through a series of vignettes portraying the world she is caught between - the old and new countries and her parent’s generation. Young Ju family is barely held together by the power of love and torn by the violence of despair. Young Ju's family struggles to stay afloat and you will see through her own voice the family's battles with economic hardship and physical violence as her desperate father, Apa, descends into alcoholism.

“We thought nothing would happen the way we wanted. Not ever. Not the time Apa, with a distant edge in his eye, took us to see the new houses being built on a nearby hill and said, we shall see. But then we never did see, although Joon and I asked every day and even packed our clothes in brown paper grocery bags in case we had to move fast.” (Page 72)

Young Ju attempts to find her place in her new world somewhere between Korean and being American. Does she find her new identity?

Honors & Awards:

  • 2001 National Book Award Finalist
  • 2002 Children's Book Award in YA Fiction – International Reading Association
  • 2003 - 2004 Gateway Readers Award Nominee, Missouri Association of School Libraries
  • 2003 - 2004 William Allen White Children's Book Award master list
  • 2002 Notable Books for a Global Society – International Reading Association
  • 2002 Notable Children's Book – American Library Association
  • 2002 Best Book for Young Adults – American Library Association
  • 2002 Children's Literature Choice List
  • 2002 Notable Books for the Language Arts – NCTE
  • 2001 Editor's Choice – Booklist
  • 2001 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • 2001 Best Books – School Library Journal
  • 2001 Kiriyama Prize Notable Book Shortlist
  • 2001 Best Children's Books – Publishers Weekly
  • 2001 Best Book –
  • 2001 Book LInks Lasting Connections
  • 2001 Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children
  • 2001 Top 10 Youth First Novels – Booklist

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. the-sisterhood-of-the-traveling-pants
New York : Delacorte, 2001. Print.

Annotation: Carmen, Tibby, Bridget, and Lena are the Septembers, a group of friends whose friendships started before they were born. Now fifteen-years-old they are spending their first summer apart from one another. They form the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a club of sorts where each girl wears the "magical" jeans for a period of time, and then sends the pants on to the next girl as the jeans collect the intimate story of each girl's individual summer.

Booktalk: Four teen girls shopping for clothes sounds pretty normal, don’t you think? But what if these four friends, who have been friends since before they were born, discover a pair of pants at a thrift that look great on each one of them, even though the girls are not alike in size, body type, style, or personality? These amazing pants make each girl feel confident, beautiful, and sexy! This discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. This will be the summer that their friendship will be tested as the four girls go different ways. Carmen is going away to South Carolina to be with her dad, Tibby is stuck at home working at Wallman’s drug store, Lena’s heading out to a tiny Greek Island with her sister, and Bridget’s attending an elite soccer camp in Baja California. On the eve of their departure, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is formed and the jeans will travel between the girls during the summer and carry their stories to each other. As each one of them heads their separate ways, will they be able to triumph a summer of their own obstacles and still stay together as a whole?

Honors & Awards:

  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award
  • Book Sense Book of the Year
  • Rhode Island Children's Book Award
  • Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
  • Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
  • Indiana Young Hoosier Award
  • Iowa Teen Book Award
  • New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award
  • Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award
  • Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award
  • Missouri Gateway Readers Award

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Drama High: Second Chance

Divine, L. Drama High: Second Chance. Drama High

New York: Kensington Publishing Corp. 2006. Print.

Annotation: This is the second book in the Drama High series. Jayd’s life continues to be filled with drama and it is only the second week of junior year. She is moving on from the fight with Trecee and her break up with KJ. More drama is on its way because her new love interest is a half-Jewish, rich white boy, Jeremy.

Booktalk: Can Jayd really put South Bay High School, a.k.a. Drama High behind her for even a couple of days? Jayd’s view of school quickly changes as starts hanging out with Jeremy. Jeremy is also a student at South Bay High School and dating him brings about many challenges since they are from different backgrounds and he is white and his parents are loaded. It may not hurt to have a rich boyfriend. It is quite and adjustment for both of their families. However, they are both willing to pursue a relationship regardless of other people's opinion. When Jayd’s crew gets word of their relationship, everyone seems to have their own thoughts on why their relationship won't last. This includes KJ, who is Jayd's ex-boyfriend. He is trying desperately to convince her to give him a second chance. But the drama continues, as her nemesis Misty just can't resist spreading more rumors about her. Misty causes trouble for Jayd’s new man by getting Jeremy in trouble and trying to impress KJ. Jayd has a lot on her plate; spiritually work for Mama, keeping up with her homework, not crossing the path of the prejudice Mrs. Bennett, and helping her girls understand her feelings about Jeremy. Jayd must use all her strength to be above the drama and decide if Jeremy can really be her new man. She is a Williams woman -and her grandmother says that means the drama will follow her wherever she goes. So it is just another day for Jayd at Drama High.

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