Realistic
Review: Project Mulberry
by Linda Sue Park Julia and Patrick have to do some kind of project for their agricultural club, but they don’t have enough space to do a typical farm project.   Patrick comes up with the idea of raising silkworms, but Julia really doesn’t want to do.  The project reminds her of Korea, where her parents came from.  She wants to do a more “American” project. In the book, Julia shares her opinion of how the story is going with Ms. Park, the author.  You don’t see that very often in books! If you like this, you might like: Review: A...
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Moose Flanagan's life is uprooted when his electrician father takes a job as a prison guard on Alcatraz....
Not Review: To Take a Dare
I tried to read Crescent Dragonwagon’s To Take a Dare over the summer, but it was a non-starter. The storyline was interesting– I’ve always liked books about road trips– but it was like she was describing the book she planned to write, rather than showing what the character was doing. I ended up abandoning it a few chapters in. If you like this, you might like: The Rag and Bone Shop Review: A Time for Dancing...
Review: A Time for Dancing
A Time for Dancing, by Davida Wills Hurwin, is the story of best friends Jules and Sam, who are dealing with Jules’ diagnosis of cancer. This book alternates chapters in each girl’s voice to look at how Jules’ cancer affects everyone around her. This book has a five-star average rating on Amazon, with 168 reviews. I would have loved this book when I was about 15. I loved it now, but we all know how sometimes adults pick books teenagers would find extremely boring. This one is especially good if you like to read about best friends, death, or cancer....
I am the Cheese
Robert Cormier’s masterpiece about a boy on a desperate journey to find his father and unlock his past. Things are not what they seem in this novel. If you like this, you might like: The Rag and Bone Shop...
Alt Ed
Susan Callaway is the overweight daughter of the Wayne High School football coach. She is constantly harassed, especially by Kale Krasner, her main tormentor. When Blake, the quiet kid who works in the library, takes revenge against Kale for other wrongs, Susan ends up getting in trouble along with him. As part of her punishment, she must spend each Wednesday after school in a session with the school counselor, along with five other kids. Of course, those kids include Blake, Kale, a cute athlete, a popular girl, and a tough girl. Throughout the sessions, the kids grudgingly learn to respect...
The Year of Secret Assignments
The Year of Secret Assignments is a fun novel about tenth graders at rival schools who begin a pen pal assignment for school. Lydia, Emily, and Cassie are each paired with a boy from Brookfield High. They exchange letters that soon lead to pranks, mysteries, love, and a major fight. Will their friendships survive this assignment? If you like this, you might like: Whale Talk Chasing Vermeer...
Olive’s Ocean
In Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes, 12-year-old Martha Boyle finds out she was mentioned in the diary of a classmate who died a month ago. Olive Barstow’s mother brings her the page from the journal just as Martha and her family are preparing to leave for the coast. This coming-of-age novel is written in very short vignettes, making it a quick and easy to read, but ultimately, it’s not a very satisfying read. If you like this, you might like: Life in the Fat Lane The Body of Christopher Creed...
The Body of Christopher Creed
When school weirdo Christopher Creed disappears without a trace, he leaves behind a note mentioning several students by name. Privileged, happy Torey Adams is on the list. As Torey tries to figure out why Creed mentioned him and where Creed disappeared to, he starts to see a side of life he never imagined existed. He starts to notice the hypocrisy of his friends and wonder why he didn’t treat Creed better. Author Carol Plum-Ucci does a very good job capturing a teenage boy’s thoughts in her first novel. Although they’re probably going to make a movie out of this one,...
Life in the Fat Lane
Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett reads like the Sweet Valley twins decided to tackle eating disorders and health problems. Lara Ardeche is a beauty queen who thinks she’s also a nice, sweet person. However, when she starts to gain weight unexplainably, she finds out she’s not so nice after all. in fact, she’s angry, judgmental, and kind of mean. She keeps gaining weight as doctors try to figure out what’s wrong with her and her parents keep insisting that if she would just diet and exercise, she could get back to her perfect weight. Meanwhile, her boyfriend...
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