Archive for November, 2010

I Will Save You by Matt de la Peña

Kidd is determined to save Olivia, the girl he has no business falling in love with because she is wealthy, cultured and well-read; things Kidd definitely is not.  Yet fall in love he does.  And Olivia responds to his affection.  But Devon who is Kidd’s malevolent and mysterious friend from the shelter home seems determined to hurt Olivia.  In order to save Olivia Kidd must destroy Devon.

De la Peña, as he did in We Were Here and Mexican White Boy, explores the psyche of a troubled Latino teen grappling with the aftermath of a horrific murder/suicide that leaves him orphaned and fearful of the abusive violence of his father and the murderous desperation of his mother.  He takes more risks here with a narrative in which Kidd’s story is told through dreams, a diary, and his recollections, each of which are seeded with enough clues for the reader to suspect that not everything Kidd is telling us is real.  With his usual pitch-perfect dialogue De la Peña delivers another story that will appeal to teens who enjoy realistic fiction about troubled youth.  John Sexton, WLS.


November 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm 2 comments

Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Four children are time traveled into 15th century England, a decidedly chaotic place where the only rule is to support the side of the winning king, whoever he may be at the moment. Brothers Chip and Alex are really the future King Edward V and the Duke of York. They are supposed to be murdered by their usurper Uncle Richard, who crowns himself King Richard III. Their two friends Katherine and her brother Jonah go along to make sure the boys return to the twenty-first century. The episodic story combined with the Lancaster/Tudor history is confusing. The reader would do well to read Margaret Haddix’s notes at the back of the book that explains the history in a linear fashion. There is suspense and mystery when the kids run into the murderous King and his followers. Rewriting history with modern kids as the main characters may not be convincing.  But young readers who like their action stories with an overlay of historical facts may enjoy the second book in this series. The book can stand alone.    Lily Hecker, Pelham.

November 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

Poser by Sue Wyshynski

This book reads as a cross between the movie Mean Girls and Blue Crush.

Tenth grader Tallulah Jones lies to Jenna, the most popular girl at school that she is an expert surfer.  At the beach, Tallulah almost gets killed and her new found friends realize that she is a liar.  She starts to get harassed at school for being a “poser.”  Tallulah meets social outcast Katie who is a competitive surfer and is more interested in the waves, then fashion.  Katie teaches Tallulah how to surf and their friendship grows.  The story builds into suspense when Tallulah has to brave the ocean and the giant size waves to save Jenna’s life.  Teens will enjoy this laid back and fun to read story.  The attractive cover will also make it a big sell.

Tee Cotter, Port Chester.

November 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

November 2010