Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

Emily Windsnap is just your average seventh grader except for one little thing: she's half mermaid. I know that is something you can't really miss, and she only turns grows a tail when she's in the water. Her mom has never allowed her to take swim lessons before. Until she decides to let Emily take them in seventh grade which is kind of inconvenient considering Emily and her mom live on a boat. After Emily discovers she's a mermaid she sneaks out at night to go for a swim, and she meets another mermaid named Shona. Shona has a theory about how Emily is so unique but she wants to ask her teacher at her mermaid school a few questions to confirm her theory. They ask the teacher and they learn about an illegal interaction between a merman and a human woman that happened in this area. Apparently they were deeply in love and King Neptune's guards caught them, arrested the merman, and began to wipe the memory of the human woman. Emily and Shona go on a journey to find Emily's father but in the process Emily finds out things that she never dreamed of learning about.

Overall I would give the book three stars because there were a few parts where Emily took forever to figure things out, which bugged me, and I thought the ending only resolved part of the conflict and I honestly hated it. I thought the book had two main strengths, one was the plot was very interesting and there really was no boring parts, also Emily has a very strong sense of who she is so it makes her a character you can relate to easily. I would highly suggest The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler to anyone who likes fantasy and adventure.

Review by SilentLikeALamb17

Works Cited
"The Tail of Emily Windsnap Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 30 Dec. 2008 http://www.librarything.com/work/1004049/.

A Friend at Midnight by Caroline Cooney

A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney is about a girl named Lily and her family. Her brother Michael just moved out to live with her dad. Michael is just eight, but he really needed his dad. Lily lives with her mom and her stepfather. Her stepfather isn't too bad, but Lily doesn't like him simply because he isn't her dad. Nate, Lily's baby stepbrother, is the only sibling she has left living with her, since her big sister, Reb, is just going to college. On the day that Lily's mom and stepdad are taking Reb to college, her little brother calls. He doesn't call from his dad's house though he calls from the airport. Michael just got dropped off at the airport without anything at all. The reason why her dad dropped him off was because Michael wasn't "the son he had in mind." Lily goes through a lot of trouble to pick Michael up, and then not trying to tell anyone what happened to Michael. Michael didn't want his dad to get in trouble, because he was still his dad. No matter what, Michael would always love him- something Lily would never be able to do again, after what had happened to her brother.

Review by jessi479

Works Cited
"A Friend at Midnight Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 29 Dec. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/1889177/.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

I found this to be a very compelling read. Lucy (Lucinda) has been raised by two loving adoptive parents. Her mother, Miranda, went crazy after giving birth, leaving Lucy with the lyrics to Scarborough Fair. The Scarborough girls have been cursed...they get pregnant with a daughter at 18 and as soon as they deliver the daughter they go insane. The lyrics to the song they pass down holds the key to breaking the curse. When she is 18, Lucy too becomes pregnant after she is raped at prom. Lucy has people around her who love and believe in her, including the boy-next-door best friend Zach, and together this group tries to race against time to complete the three tasks before she delivers her baby.

Because of some of the issues that arise in this book, I would recommend it as a read for 8th graders. This book would definitely appeal to fans of Twilight and the Gemma Doyle series, but certainly is a strong enough read to find fans all its own. It seems like several of the books I've read lately (From Charlie's Point of View, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Poison, and Keturah and Lord Death) have this common thread of integrating this fantasy or other-worldly realm into the story.

Works Cited
"Impossible Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 23 Dec. 2008 http://www.librarything.com/work/5398461/

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Highland Book Fair

The first book fair of the year is underway in the Highland Learning Center.
The book fair will be open during the school day from Wednesday, 12/3 - Friday, 12/5. Students will have a chance to visit the book fair with their language arts and literature classes. Checks can be made out to Highland Middle School.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

After her mother's death, Gemma is sent to a boarding school in London where she is to be taught how to behave like a lady in order to land a husband. She is haunted and puzzled by the events around her mother's death and the strange vision she had. After finding a hidden diary and exploring her new powers, she and three friends decide to try to explore the Realm. This decision and the excursions into the Realm has serious consequences for them all and delves into each of the girl's hearts desire.

I am anxious to read the rest of the series and see where Gemma's path takes her. I think this series would appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

Works Cited
"A Great and Terrible Beauty Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 3 Dec. 2008