Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Child Called It by David Pelzer

A Child Called It has been on my to read list for a long time. Last week I finally picked it up and had a hard time putting it down. This is David Pelzer's account of growing up with an abusive alcoholic Mother and a Father who stood by and didn't help. There were times during the book that I felt sick to my stomach and had a hard time reading about the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of his own Mother. Luckily this story has a happy ending and eventually Dave has the courage to report his Mother. This was a tough read but incredible to know Dave Pelzer's story.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I have wanted to read this book for a while, but it was always checked out at the library. One of the teachers donated her copy to the library so I brought it home and finally started the book. Thirsteen Reasons Why is one of those books that grabs you within the first few pages and won't let you go until the very last page. I read a lot of Young Adult literature, but not many stay with me for very long. I will remember this book, the plot and the characters for a very long time.

The book starts with Clay receiving a strange package of cassette tapes labeled 1-13. Once he gets home and plays them he realizes what they are. Hannah Baker, a student at Clay's school, committed suicide a few weeks ago. The tapes are her story. Why she did what she did and the people that led her to the decision of suicide. Clay doesn't know why he received the tapes but he knows he must follow the instructions provided from Hannah. The reader will be intrigued listening to each tape and star of each one.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Running Dream was on the ALA list for the Schneider Family Books for featuring characters with a disability. I really enjoyed this books as well as the main characters courage and bravery.

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was an outstanding debut novel. My sister recommended this book to me so I bought it for the Library. The book takes place over the course of several decades involving a bet, magic and a wonderful traveling circus. I highly recommend this read.


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I loved this book. I bought two copies for the Library because it was on the Printz Honor list for 2011.
Gemma is on vacation with her parents. They are passing through an airport and Gemma sits down in a coffee shop and starts talking with Ty, a mysterious stranger. Next thing she know she is in a bedroom, with nothing out the window except a vast, empty plain. Ty has stolen her away from her family in order to keep her and make her love him. 
The story is written from Gemma's perspective as she recounts her story of being Stolen to her captor Ty. I was so engrossed in this novel. I wanted to learn more about Ty and how or if Gemma ever got away. I highly recommend this for a fast read.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen was an interesting, character driven novel that was on NY times bestsellers list. At times, I found myself bored with the storyline but mostly because the book was almost 700 pages. In the end I became engrossed with the characters and wanted to know what would happen. 
Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world. 

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz - outré rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival - still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbor," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?