Monday, July 21, 2008

How Ya Like Me Now?

A book with a couple guys playing video games on the cover? This cover art definitely has some appeal for some of Highland's students! I guess it did for me too as I brought this book home to read over the summer. I am glad I did, I really liked Brendan Halpin's How Ya Like Me Now.

Eddie has been taking care of himself and the household for more than a year. After his dad died, his mom turned to painkillers and soon developed an addiction. When the whole situation unravels and Eddie's mom goes to rehab, Eddie moves in with his aunt, uncle and cousin, Alex, in Boston. He goes to school at CUE, an alternative high school where students are called "associates" and the whole school is run more like a place of business. At CUE Eddie feels it is ok to be smart and achieve. This is a quick engaging read about Eddie's struggle to heal and fit in at a new school with friends and maybe even find romance. Eddie and Alex, though really different at first, find they have a lot to learn from each other and grow to rely on each other.

Image Citation
"How Ya Like Me Now cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 21 July 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Green Glass Sea

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages is a Caudill 2009 nominee. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this historical fiction book. The book is set during World War II and revolves around life in top-secret Los Alamos where scientists are inventing the gadget, a.k.a. the atomic bomb. The Green Glass Sea refers to the mineral that is created as a result of the test of the gadget.

Dewey goes to live with her father on The Hill in Los Alamos during World War II. Her father is a scientist working on the invention of what is referred to in the book as the gadget. When Dewey's dad, Jimmy, has to go to Washington DC to meet with the President, Dewey stays with the Gordon family. The Gordon's daughter, Suze, and Dewey don't get along so well at first. Their conflict and the ways they find to connect to each other occur as the adults are working feverishly trying to get the gadget to work to put an end to the war.

A lot of people and events are simply alluded to in the story, which is great because it doesn't slow the story down, but I wonder how much Highland readers will connect events and people in the story with historical events and people. Students, if you read this book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Image Citation
"The Green Glass Sea Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 16 July 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Does My Head Look Big in This?

The last few books I've read have been fluffy (How My Private Personal Journal Became a Best Seller) or just a bit strange (Frannie in Pieces). As a reader, when I'm involved in a book that I enjoy I have a hard time putting it down. I can't wait to finish it and find out what happens to the characters. I was pleased that the book I most recently pulled off my summer reading pile, Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah, hooked me in to its world.

Here's what I wrote about the book on my library thing page:
Amal decides to wear a hijab (Muslim head scarf) full-time. She is really worried about how she'll be accepted and perceived in public, especially at her prep school, especially by her crush Adam. There is an interesting cast of characters, and Amal is a strong, likeable girl. Sometimes the message got a bit heavy-handed. However, it is not often you get a Muslim teenager as the narrator in a YA book. I enjoyed the book - a touching read with Amal learning a lot of life lessons during her junior year of high school.

Please leave a comment if you've read this book or if you have a recommendation for a book that has really hooked you in this summer.

Image Citation
"Does My Head Look Big in This? Cover." Online image. Library Thing. 15 July 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

How my Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller

I was in the mood for a light, girly book this afternoon. And I got just that with How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia DeVillers.

Jamie's journal is accidentally turned in to her English teacher instead of her assigned essay. It's not a spill my guts and secret kind of journal, more of a story about high school life and the way she wishes it could be. Her writing, about an independent girl who has the power to flick mean girls and put them in their place, is a hit and her teacher happens to be connected into the publishing industry. In a whirlwind, Jamie's book is published and is hotter than hot. Soon Jamie is jet setting around to interviews and events. But she still has to deal with her everyday life - encounters with her crush, friend dramas, the mean girl at school, and family issues. This was a good read for a sunny summer afternoon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer far

Happy Summer! It is hard to believe it is already July. I haven't been reading as much as I would like for pleasure as I've been working on a research proposal. But I thought I'd give an update about what I've been reading so far.

I just finished The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan today. I'm so glad this is one of the 2009 Caudill books! Percy Jackson discovers he is the son of a Greek god, making him a half-blood or demigod. There is loads of action and adventure and a good dose of Greek mythology in this story about a boy's quest to try to stop a war between the gods of Mount Olympus. I can't wait to read more of Percy's adventures.

I read the first book of two series: The Mediator series by Meg Cabot and the Chasing Yesterday series by Robin Wasserman. Chasing Yesterday is about a girl who awakes with amnesia after an explosion in a factory. Most of the first book is spent trying to figure out who she is and what is going on. One hint - there is a conspiracy involved. The Mediator series tells the story of Suze and her work attempting to get the dead to move on to their final resting places. She meets a nasty, violent, and vengeful spirit in her new high school who she has to convince to move along. I liked this book and will definitely pick up more of the series.

I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read. I'm anxious to dive in! Please leave a comment if you have any books you've enjoyed this summer!

Image Citation
"Wyatt LibraryThing Book Covers." Online image. 2 July 2008