Friday, January 30, 2015
How to Speak Dog is exactly that, a simple look at behaviors that dogs have with explanations from a Vet on why they do those things, or what they mean. It's kind of young, but a simple overview that anyone could learn from.
Sex & Violence was DEFINITELY not the book I thought it was going to be. I am so glad I saw it on the Garden State list to read, and that I grabbed it. I couldn't stop reading it, just stayed up way too late to see what happened. The story centers around Evan, who moves around a lot due to his father's job. He doesn't get serious about anyone, but is very happy to simply "hook up" and move on. Then, a horrible assault happens to him; and suddenly life is very different. His dad moves them back to his old home town in Minnesota for the summer, hoping some therapy and small town vibes will do some healing for him.
I love the realistic way we see Evan struggling through therapy, not sure how it's going to help, but trying. I also think that Mesrobian did a bang up job of showing some of the additional traumas you can have, and how hard it is to just "get over it". The links of his familial heritage, and friends he makes just make the book feel real. This was a powerful read.
45 Pounds has good intentions; with a main character struggling with food issues and self esteem. Unfortunately, I didn't love the book...I didn't hate it; just felt like the issue of "oh the horrible fatness of me" and the bullying & self hatred that she goes through have been done before.....it just felt like BAM! Message book!
However, the message delivered was good, and it did show that others might have their own issues you don't know about...so all in all, not awful, but not a fun book either.
This is a fun, light, quick look at some "bad girls" through history. They are brief biographical stories followed by a comic panel featuring the authors talking about the story. I thought it was cute, not really teen as purported, but fun nonetheless.
Boxers & Saints are two books that connect; one from the Chinese traditional religions side and one from the Christian side and it's set during the 1800s. It's a graphic novel, and engrossing to see the fictionalized life stories.
This is another "issue book", this one dealing with bullying. It was well written, dealing with all angles of things but still, I feel like I was being hit on the head with the "issue" format.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
This book made me wish I had more time, and artistic ability, to do fancy stuff with my nails. The illustrations are easy to follow, and it just looks like a blast.....now if only teens enjoyed programs with crafty stuff......sigh....
Courage Has No Color is the story of the "Triple Nickels"...the 555th regiment and the first African American paratrooper regiment, formed during WWII. They faced a lot of obstacles, and proved that whatever your race, you can be courageous. I like that the author also touched on the Japanese predicaments, which were similarly trying. I found this to be an informative and interesting book.
This graphic novel looks at three women who dedicated their lives to the study of Primates. It consists of very brief biographies of each of them, and highlights how they got into the research as well as why they wanted to do it. I learned a lot and enjoyed that it was brief and informative, so that if I want more information I can find it, but still touched on all the major parts of their accomplishments if I don't want to go any further.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
This book is a middle grade book, and it tackles some hard questions. I like that the author doesn't try to give easy answers. If you are looking for a book with some deep issues, give this one a try.
Freedman does a pretty good job of telling the story of a young girl stuck in the dreaded "between" place.....between child and teen, between Jewish and Hindu, between a friend and a girlfriend and questioning everything.....this is a sweet story.
I love these books so much! If you haven't read any of them, you must...you simply must.
This was an interesting book highlighting issues and problems from Tanzania. It was a bit dry at times as the author attempts to explain things to the reader so we understand where Shida and others are coming from...but this slows down the story sometimes. It's written for middle grade readers, and anyone looking for a story outside their experiences should try it.
This is an odd, quirky and interesting little story. I never would have picked it up myself, but found myself intrigued by the story. I could have done without all the heavy Catholic lessons along the way, but nonetheless enjoyed the book.
Another odd little book, but I really enjoyed it. Conor's acknowledgement of his weaknesses, makes him an endearing character. Watching his growth from whiny boy to courageous young man is quite exciting and heartbreaking. Give it a try.
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