Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, Read by Edward Herrmann
Louis was a miler--the best in the world in the early 1930's, and, like many Olympians, he served in the military during World War II. I really can't give away too many details (read the book!), but the fact that he survived is amazing. His story, his perseverance, his persistence, and, later, his faith, is quite the uplifting story. It's not sappy, but Hillenbrand is such a good storyteller that you can't help but feel for Louis and his friends. Read. This. Book!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Ned Begay is sent off to boarding school from the reservation and has to learn to become "white" and denounce all things Navajo until it's discovered that the white man needs his language. The Navajo language is difficult to learn and a code developed from that language becomes the secret code of the Americans in the Pacific in the 1940s. But they aren't just code talkers--they fight, run between bullets, take hits, and die while in the Marines. The code talkers were sworn to secrecy until 1969, when computers could take the place of their code. Joseph Bruchac, while not Navajo, seemed to do a great job staying true to the Navajo ways in this book (at least to this white girl). This story needs to be told to teenagers, and this novel is a great way for it to be told. My copy at PCHS is missing/lost, and I plan on purchasing a paperback soon.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Mrs. Tom Thumb, or Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump, had a pretty amazing history--perfect as the basis of a historical novel. Vinnie was raised with class, even though she was only 2 feet, 8 inches tall. She jumps at the chance to travel the Mississippi as a singing act. But her dream was always to work for P.T. Barnum, and eventually her dream comes true. She travels the world, meeting kings and queens, and living a luxurious life. She marries Tom Thumb for the media, and even fakes having a baby on her travels. Her life is a sham, even if it's a classy one, and she realizes this later in her life. All in all, listening to this audiobook made me sad. Vinnie was always chasing after fame and fortune, but never happy.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Amy is devastated about the death of her father in a car crash. She feels guilty about it, and blames her drug-abusing twin brother, too. Now her mom has moved out to Connecticut, shipped her brother to rehab in North Carolina, and enlisted a friend's son to drive Amy from California to their new home on the East Coast. Amy isn't thrilled about driving this far with a stranger, but she isn't exactly thrilled about anything in the depressive state she's in. Roger helps. Their road trip makes me want to hop in my car, pull open the sun roof, and do some serious exploring of America!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
There are ten books in the Pendragon series, as well as a trilogy of prequels, a guide to the territories, and a graphic novel. Yes, I'd say this series is successful!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Why two covers? So you can see the difference! The first pink cover is the hardback edition, and not receiving much action at my library. It reminds me of a cheesy kung fu DVD-only movie. The second cover is the best, either, but at least it's more in tune with what YA covers look like nowadays.
Ai Ling is a prisoner of her times--she's female in ancient China and doesn't have power. When she is close to being forced to marrying a man she doesn't like, she runs away to try to find her father--the one man who can save and protect her. Her father was one an admired and respected scholar to the emperor, but now is scorned because of some unmentionable activity.
As Ai Ling travels to the emperor's city, she discovers that she has more access to the world of demons and gods than she knew. She is powerful, and must use her knowledge of the old stories to protect her newly found friends. This book is magical, fierce, and surprisingly a bit dirty-minded at times, but it all works. The sequel, Fury of the Phoenix, was published in March 2011.
Ghostopolis and was looking forward to reading this graphic novel. There are two similar stories being told here. Reese, a teenage boy about to runaway from home, is forced to go boating with his family. When the boat is wrecked on a lonely island full of threatening magical creatures, he must step it up and act like a man instead of a whiny pre-teen. In the fantastical story, a rock giant teenage boy defies his dad to go off to war on his own, with dismal results. Obviously, the stories are connected eventually. The tales are serious, but the characters provide some funny moments--especially the snarky comments of the parents and the sister's fascination with her dead pet snake.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
2011 Abe Lincoln IL book award list.
Sophie and Josh are twins who find out that they are mentioned in the ancient codex that Nicholas Flamel protects. They find out they have untapped potential and could save the world or destroy it (Harry Potter, anyone?). Even though the main characters are 15, the book does seem to be for a junior high audience.