Monday, September 22, 2014

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

March Madness has begun! Michigan is heavily favored to win, but Troy State has heart.

The entire book takes place in the time span of a single game. As the announcer does his exciting play-by-play throughout the game, the back story of four key players is also told.

 This is not only the story of two very different teams, but also the story of four very different basketball players. Malcolm is from the inner-city, is VERY talented, and is called "one and done" because of his plans to join the NBA after his freshman year.

Roco Bacic is from the war-ravaged country of Croatia where his uncle, a journalist, was killed by a car bomb. Basketball is his ticket to freedom and an education.

Along with the basketball action, there are also some very pertinent issues explored in this novel. Universities make millions off the ticket sales, etc. of their varsity teams, but the players (many of whom come from very limited economic families) go through their college careers without being able to profit at all.

This was a riveting read. Basketball fans will especially enjoy this novel, but I think most everyone will be drawn into the back stories of these players. Some foul language

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

This is going to be a big one - this book was great!

Callum Hunt does NOT want to be a magician. Call's mother and father were both mages, but his mother is dead and his father both hates and fears magic.

 When Callum turns 12 he is required to be tested to see if he is qualified to be educated in the realm of magic. He tries to fail every test, but is admitted to magic school despite his efforts. Once he begins school, Call finds he enjoys his lessons much more than he thought he would. Why does his father want him to come home? Will magic lead to something much more sinister?

Despite(or maybe because of)  its similarities to Harry Potter, I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to the sequels!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Very different novel told from SEVEN different points of view!

"The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, somethingis happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together...."

Summary above from:

Girls will love this romantic story that almost happens over and over and over. Will they EVER get together???

Check out the songs that go along with this novel at the link above.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Josh and Jordan play basketball. And they are GOOD! Their father was once a pro basketball player so perhaps it's in their genes. Unfortunately, there is something wrong with their father but the boys don't exactly know what.
This novel is told in verse/rap format, but don't be put off by that - it's great:

A bolt of lightning on my kicks...
     The court is sizzling.
          My sweat is drizzling.
Stop all that quivering.
     Cuz tonight I'm delivering.

Read this - it's a fast read and it's great!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Can a twelve-year-old boy really change the world? Tevor is one of the few students in his class who accepts the teacher's extra credit assignment to come up with a big idea that will change the world for the better.
Trevor's plan is simple: he will do good deeds for three people and instead of getting paid back, he asks the recipients of his good deeds to "pay it forward." He wants each person to do good deeds for three other people. Think about it - if each of us does good deeds for 3 people and each of them does good deeds for three more people the effects of his little experiment could easily spread to hundreds, then thousands of people!

It really would be so interesting if we could try this in our own school .....

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy

Coming on Tuesday, September 16. Two copies will be available in our media center. The Infinite Sea will also be on our school Kindles!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Push Girl by Chelsie Hill & Jessica Love

Push+Girl+New.jpg (1067×1600)

 This is a very inspiring story that is loosely based on the life of one of the authors.

Kara is a popular junior in high school who is dating the captain of the water polo team. She is a shoo-in to become this year's Homecoming Queen. 

But driving home from a party, Kara gets into a terrible accident and wakes up two weeks later in the hospital not able to feel her legs.

Her boyfriend deserts her.

Her ex-boyfriend visits her every day.

But Kara just wants things to return to normal. How can she go back to school in a wheelchair? Why won't her boyfriend even look at her or return her texts?

I recommend this book for fans of The Fault in Our Stars.  You won't need as many tissues when reading this book, but you will want to read until the end to find out how exactly Kara copes with all she has been dealt.

Recommended for eighth grade and up: some drinking and a little "heavy" dating