Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is John Greens newest arrival to the Library. I am a  big fan of John Green so I was looking forward to reading his latest novel. There were moments in the book that I was no very engaged but in the end I was in tears and truly fell in love with the two main characters. If you are a John Green fan I think you will enjoy this one, but I wouldn't recommend it for a first time read.

My Bloody Life by Reymundo Sanchez

The students are always asking about this book and it was checked out all year long. I knew the premise of the book was about a former gang member but I wanted to make sure there was a positive message in this book discouraging gang violence. This summer, my friends were looking for a book for our book club, so I suggested we read My Bloody Life. I started it the last week of school and voraciously finished this book. The topic is obviously captivating dealing with several Chicago gangs and their violent activities with shootings, drive bys, fights, and drug dealing. This is an eye opening account of what life is like for gang members and why young children would partake in such behavior. This was a great book, but sad for all those who lost their life for the purpose of owning 'turf'.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dear Bully

This is a must read for EVERYONE! Dear Bully is various authors recounting their own history of being bullied, witnessing bullying or being the bully themselves. I found this book to be engrossing and heartbreaking. As a teacher I ponder the question of what we can do right now.  The message we preach to kids is that it gets better, but what can we do right now to stop the bad behavior? I think a good start to addressing the bullying situation is reading this book out loud as a class. I think we need to talk to students about making fun of other students and the damage and hurt that is caused by teasing. Sometimes, a student is causing harm just by standing aside and letting someone else be bullied. I think everyone should read this book as it is eye opening to the pain that can be caused with words.

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

I have been a big fan of Harlan Coben since I was in high school. I have slowly been adding his books into the Library's collection. I enjoyed this book but it was definitely not one of my favorites. I love a good suspense thriller and I felt as if the suspense was lacking. I had solved who the killer was half way through the book and just waiting to find out I was right for the remaining half. This was a typical Coben novel. I do enjoy the snark and sarcasm he writes for his characters though.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I went out and bought this book the day it came out from the book store. I displayed it on my desk for 2 weeks and the kids voraciously finished the follow up to Divergent. After all the kids read it, I took it home to read myself. I have to say, I didn't love this book. The book starts off directly after Divergent. However, there was no recap and I found myself asking who is Will, who is Peter? who is Marcus? It took about 50 pages for me to remember those characters but now 10 more characters had been introduced. I found this book to be choppy and filled with too many characters being introduced only to die a few pages later. I will finish up the series though. Once I have started I like to finish, but honestly was not impressed with this follow up. I have been a big champion for Divergent, but can not say the same for Insurgent.