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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Last Boy and Girl in the World - Siobhan Vivian

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While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever. There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk. 

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.

The Last Boy and Girl in the World was certainly intriguing. There was much to love overall, and Vivian's writing was solid. Keeley and Jesse were complicated characters, and although I didn'…

The Seventh Wish - Kate Messner

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Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life at college, everything seems more important than Charlie. Then one day while ice fishing, Charlie makes a discovery that will change everything . . . in the form of a floppy fish offering to grant a wish in exchange for freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck but soon realizes that this fish has a very odd way of granting wishes as even her best intentions go awry. But when her family faces a challenge bigger than any they've ever experienced, Charlie wonders if some things might be too important to risk on a wish fish.
I will admit that I picked this book up based on some unfortunate news about Messner being uninvited from speaking about her book because it discusses some more mature topics. Of course, I needed to read it to understand the bigger picture.
I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be sincere, painfully raw, and emotionally complex in a way that many middle gra…

What a Beautiful Morning - Arthur A. Levine & Katie Kath

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Every morning is beautiful when Noah visits his Grandparents. When Grandpa and Noah wake up, they take off singing and hardly stop: walking the dog, splashing through puddles, and eating French toast with cinnamon. But one summer Grandpa seems to have forgotten how to do the things they love. Does he even know who Noah is? Grandma steps in energetically, filling in as best she can. But it is Noah who finds the way back to something he can share with Grandpa. Something musical. Something that makes the morning beautiful again. This is a story about how love helps us find even what we think is lost.

It isn't often that something as complex and emotionally nuanced as alzheimer's is explored in a picturebook. Arthur Levine has written a story that is incredibly sensitive and insightful, filled with descriptive and imaginative language. The book is an emotional rollercoaster, moments of happiness contrasted with moments of heartbreak, confusion, and frustration. But what could easil…

Holding Smoke - Elle Cosimano

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John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help hi…

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love - Sarvenaz Tash

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Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic,
The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
This book was a lot of fun! There was silliness…

Booked - Kwame Alexander

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Like lightning
you strike fast and free legs zoom down field eyes fixed on the checkered ball on the goal ten yards to go can’t nobody stop you
can’t nobody cop you…

In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel
The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. 
Kwame Alexander is a poet And he definitely knows it. He's a master of his art, Always writing from the heart. He knows a good turn of phrase, His thoughts weaving a maze. Each sentence covers new ground, Every stanza seemingly new-found, Each work far-reaching, Every page worth teaching.
Okay, I could try to write my whole review in verse, but it would devolve into terrible, third-rate Dr. Seuss rhymes. Me, staying awake until all …

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling - Tony Cliff

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Delilah Dirk and the Blades of England lands Delilah and Selim right in the middle of yet more crazy adventures. When Delilah is framed as a spy by an English army officer, her passion for revenge threatens to sever her friendship with Selim. Is she willing to lose the companionship of her only good friend in order to reclaim her reputation? Selim finally gets to see the England he has only imagined, but how will he feel when the combined strains of social conventions and Delilah’s thirst for revenge overwhelm his experience?
A super kick-ass female protagonist, colourful and dynamic illustrations, and an energetic story, Delilah Dirk's newest adventure is not to be missed! I very much enjoyed Cliff's first book in the series, and this book not only matches the first, but actually exceeds it in complexity and character development. And even amidst all the action and fighting, there's not an excessive amount of blood, violence, or gore, which is often difficult to find in gr…