Friday, February 17, 2017

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Though it may be a boring book, the play centers around a boy, Tom, and his family struggling to make it through the Great Depression.  However, Tom's always wanted to escape and leave his family to pursue a career as a poet.

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

It's a great book with a lot of twists.  You never know what's going to happen.  It's also mysterious and spooky.

(Note: This is a Battle of the Books 2017 title; reviews are welcome!)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The language is a little bit hard to understand, but it is interesting once you get started and past the first couple chapters.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Good.

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

Nadia is losing it.  She's started stealing things - some cheap, some expensive - and she can't stop.  At night, Nadia makes birds' nests out of things she's found and stolen.  She can't stop making the nests, either.

Then Nadia begins seeing a boy running through the streets of the Italian city she and her family moved to a few months ago.  He leaves her flowers, Nadia's only proof of a boy nobody else seems to see.  Nadia keeps slipping in and out of memory, particularly ones of her friend Maggie back home in the US, finding it increasingly hard to stay in the present.

But worst of all, Nadia is losing the ability to speak.  Once-easy words fail to come out, or stop halfway through.  As her mind deteriorates, so do her relationships.  Every day, Nadia loses a bit of herself - and a bit of her ability to tell someone what's going on.

The race is on - will someone get her help, or will Nadia disappear completely first?

Numbering All the Bones by Ann Rinaldi

Takes place in 1864 in the Civil War: 9-year-old Eulinda is a slave with many responsibilities but also a lot of freedom.

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

A girl returns home after disappearing from a camping trip for two years, but she doesn't remember anything about her disappearance... or even going missing in the first place.

Without spoiling too much, this book is suspenseful in a realistic way.  Coley touches on mental illness and abuse in a tasteful and interesting way that keeps readers enthralled to find out what happened.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Great plot twist, kind of (at the end), and nice characters too.

(Note: the reviewer gave this a 7-out-of-8.  This is a Battle of the Books 2017 title; reviews are welcome!)

White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer

This book was very interesting to read.  It was set in the time of segregation.  The book was very descriptive and I could imagine myself in that time period.

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

Elsie lost her twin brother, Eddie, when she was very young.  She doesn't remember much about the day he drowned.  Her dad doesn't want her going near the water anymore.  Elsie discovers diving by accident and wants to try it.  Meanwhile, bullies at school make life difficult for Elsie, who has no friends.  After school, she spends time at an abandoned boathouse that feels like home to her.  Diving changes her forever.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

What would happen if all possible universes in one's life could be connected?

Jason Dessen, a physics professor at a nearby university, thinks of what could have been - he could have been a celebrated physicist, but he chose his relationships and his family instead.  And he hasn't regretted his decision.

One day, Dessen is plopped into an alternate universe, one in which he is a celebrated physicist, but his wife and son are gone.  How does Jason Dessen find his way back to his world?  And who wanted to live his life so badly?

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

This was a very inspiring book about a girl who continued to speak out for what is right despite threats to her safety.  This book helps make the reader aware of the issues going on in other parts of the world.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

http://polpac.farmlib.org/polaris/search/searchresults.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.1&type=Advanced&term=7%20Habits%20of%20Highly%20Effective%20Teens&relation=ALL&by=TI&term2=Covey&relation2=ALL&by2=AU&bool1=AND&bool4=AND&limit=TOM=*&sort=TI&page=0&searchid=13
A motivating book with both comical wit and helpful advice.  While reading, I got new ideas and, with personal comments from other teens, felt not alone with the daily struggles of being a teenager.  It made me feel better after reading and was a relaxing read.