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Monthly Archives: May 2006

“Runner” by Carl Deuker

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

Chance is a high-school senior who lives with his alcoholic father on a beat-up, old sailboat moored in the Seattle marina. Chance, who runs every day, is soon recruited by “the fat man” to pick up packages hidden in the rocks along the beach. Although Chance suspects that he's transporting drugs for the fat man, he is in desperate need of cash to pay bills, buy groceries, and save the boat. Chance and his friend Melissa soon realize that Chance has become involved in a terrorist plot … and that he's actually been picking up packages containing plastic explosives!

This is a timely book — it includes discussions on the meaning of patriotism, the war in Iraq, and terrorism — but it's also fast-paced and reads like an action thriller. The climactic scenes of Chance and his dad battling against time to save Seattle are riveting.

What did you think of "Runner"?

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“Bang!” by Sharon Flake

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

Mann is a young teenager growing up in a poor, often violent inner-city neighborhood. When his little brother is killed by gunfire, Mann begins to lose his way, becoming abusive, skipping school, and turning more frequently to drugs to ease his grief. Drawing upon African rituals, Mann's father abandons Mann and his cousin, Kee-Lee, in the countryside — twice! — in an effort to force Mann to find his own way in the world. Instead, Mann ends up in disastrous circumstances. This is a difficult, not very satisfying read, marred by bizarre episodes of truly gross-out humor. Lots of difficult issues are addressed, but there's no real conclusion to any of them.

Did you read "Bang!"? Did you like it? Let us know!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“Luna” by Julie Anne Peters

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

Sophomore girl Regan narrates the story of her transgendered older brother, Liam (Luna). Luna only emerges at night, in Regan’s bedroom, where she puts on dresses, wigs, makeup and gets to act truly free. The story is intercut with episodes from Regan and Liam’s childhood, some of which are terribly painful to read. Regan’s whole life is devoted to Liam, to being there for him and going to great, sometimes costly lengths to keep his secret. Regan has no friends and is a true loner, until she meets Chris in her chemistry class and realizes how much fun they have together. The story follows Regan and Chris' new relationship, as well as Liam's halting efforts to let Luna emerge in public as his 18th birthday approaches. This book is troubling, beautiful, and painfully honest … often all at the same time. It's probably not for everyone, but if you're looking for a well-written book that will stay with you afterward, "Luna" may be for you.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“Hard Hit” by Ann Turner

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

Another novel in free-verse (think poetry) form. "Hard Hit" is a short, easy read that may have special meaning for anyone who has lost a loved one. Mark is a 10th-grader, a pitcher on his school's baseball team, and a good son to a father who is struggling with pancreatic cancer. The poems create a nice story of Mark’s friendship with his best friend Eddie; his crush on a girl named Diane; his attempts to grow lettuce with his father, who becomes increasingly ill as the story moves on; and his desire to pitch a no-hitter as a sacrifice for his dying dad. The ups and downs of terminal illness, and the reality of grief, make this a gripping story.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“Blue Bloods” by Melissa de la Cruz

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

"Blue Bloods" is a quick, easy, slightly trashy read … no more, no less. Think of it as Gossip Girl meets Dracula. Got the picture? Schuyler ("Sky") is a sophomore at a posh, exclusive school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Sky gets invited to join the Blood Bank Committee, a charity organization which is really just a front for the “Blue Bloods,” an ancient tribe of vampires. Don't worry, these Blue Bloods don't feast on humans. In fact, someone — or something — is targeting and killing the Blue Bloods themselves. Sky and her friends investigate the history / mythology of vampires in the hopes of finding who the murderer is. Along the way, you'll get lots of descriptions of clothes, cars, and shoes. Yeah, it's shallow, but it's fun, too. Just don't expect too much. And keep an eye out for sequels … the book ends in a cliffhanger.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl” by Tanya Lee Stone

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

I won't lie, I was a bit thrown off by the title and cover of this book. I expected it to be one of those shallow teen chick-lit books, like the "A-List" or "Gossip Girl" series. It's *so* not!!

This book is told in free-verse format (sort of like a long poem, but without the rhyming). There are three alternating narrators, all teen girls — none of whom are friends — who recount their relationships with "TL" (total loser!), the beautiful, popular senior who gives new meaning to the term PLAYER. This book is recommended for older teens, particularly any girl who has ever fallen for a guy despite knowing better. The experiences are raw and honest, but the book overall is very positive without feeling preachy or heavy-handed.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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“Travel Team” by Mike Lupica

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

12-year old Danny thought he had a great chance of making Middletown's 7th grade basketball travel team. To his surprise, despite his hustle and playmaking abilities, the coaches cut him because he's simply too short. Danny's estranged dad, former NBA guard Richie, helps Danny organize a competing team. Of course, there's a big final game between the new rivals … but I won't spoil it for you here. You'll have to suspend some of your disbelief to enjoy this story to its fullest, but the relationships between Danny and his friends/teammates are real enough to make it work. And, if it's sports action you're looking for, you'll find plenty of basketball play-by-plays here.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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