Archive for July, 2010

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

In the first chapter of this book, teenaged Seth gets dumped by his girlfriend Veronica at Applebees, spies his father at the same Applebees cozying up to another woman who is not his mom and gets fired from his job. He decides to verbalize all of his emotions and feelings anonymously via podcast. However, the podcast doesn’t stay anonymous for long. FYI–the podcasts really halted the pacing of the novel. In fact, the story would have been better without them. There are many comedic elements to this story and a few unexpected twists and turns. Seth is a likeable character that readers will root for. Tee Cotter, Port Chester


July 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

The Price of Stones by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

The devastation of the AIDS epidemic in Africa becomes something more than a headline in in The Price of Stones. When his brother succumbs to the disease in Uganda, Kaguri resolves to do something for children in his village who, like his nephew and niece, have not only been orphaned by the disease but, because of superstition and a lack of understanding are stigmatized by it as well, to the point of even being considered a cause. With nothing more than an idea and his faith Kaguri, who spent a year of post-graduate study at Columbia, patiently and relentlessly navigates the obstacles of African bureaucracy and corruption to build and fund the Nyaka Aids Orphan School. Like Three Cups of Tea (Penguin 2007), this tale offers teens an insight into a different culture as it provides them with an inspiring model of a single person making a significant difference in a world of daunting problems. (Published for adults, but should of interest and value for teens).

John Sexton, WLS

July 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Felix has been left in the protection of a Catholic orphanage by his parents as they tried themselves to flee the Nazis in Poland during World War II. When Felix escapes to find his parents, he slowly begins to understand the perils he faces and the truth that he is unlikely to ever find his parents. As the stories he has told himself in order to survive the nightmare of his abandonment begin, one-by-one to fall away in the face of brutal reality, Felix finds himself protecting a younger, recently ophaned child. His stories keep her hopeful as they hide in the Warzsaw ghetto. But even his skilled storytelling cannot keep the truth at bay. A simple and beguiling narrative belies the heartbreaking tragedy endured by this Felix and his cohort of innocents in a story that can never be told too often.

John Sexton, Tarrytown.

July 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Ever wish you could save the people you care about from feeling any pain? That is exactly what Brewster can do; he absorbs all the pain of anyone he cares about. For example, when his brother, Cody, jumps off the roof and breaks his arm, Cody doesn’t feel a thing. Instead, Brew is the one with the broken bone who is stuck wearing a cast. In order to keep the pain and injuries to a minimum Brew usually keeps to himself. However, he soon lets Bronte, a girl with a tendency to pick up strays whether they be animal or human, into his heart and his life is forever changed. Told in four alternate voices (Bruiser; Bronte; Cody; and Tennyson, Bronte’s protective twin brother) Bruiser is a compelling read that will certainly leave you with a lot to think about.

Anne Quick, Dobbs Ferry

July 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

Queen of Secrets by Jenny Meyerhoff

High School sophomore Essie Green has decided that this is going to be her year. She makes the cheerleading squad and catches the eye of Austin King, the captain of the football team.

What Essie didn’t expect was that her cousin Micah would be moving to her hometown and joining the football team. Micah’s family observes many of the Jewish traditions and holidays including wearing a kippah. Essie and her grandparents do not follow any of the Jewish traditions nor celebrate the Jewish holidays. Essie starts hanging out with the popular crowd and does not tell them that Micah is her cousin. Several of the football players start to give Micah a difficult time and Essie is forced to reevaluate her new life and popularity. Meyerhoff does a great job with depicting the characters and the story in this work. Readers may find that the story is unrealistically wrapped up too neatly in the end. Tee Cotter, Port Chester.

July 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Spotting for Nellie by Pamela Lowell

This is the sequel to Returnable Girl (which 7 wls libraries own) but readers do not need to read the first book in order to get involved with Spotting for Nellie.

This fast paced book reminds me of a combination of the tv shows “Make it or Break it,” “Dawson’s Creek” and the “OC.” Claire and Nellie are sisters who are competitive in all areas of their life especially with gymnastics. In a split second everything changes when Claire and Nellie are in a car accident. Claire who was driving is ok, but her younger sister Nellie goes in a coma and when she awakens has to relearn how to use such basics as a knife and fork, memory loss and other injuries. Readers will feel for all of the characters involved, especially Claire’s best friend Sid and Adam aka Fish a social misfit who are also affected by this tragedy. The story is told by 5 perspectives: Claire, Nellie, Nellie’s brain in the coma, Sid and Adam which make the book a more interesting read. Older Teens will enjoy this story. Tee Cotter, Port Chester

July 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

July 2010
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