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Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. (2002). New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
262
Asta's son becomes orphaned in the first chapter, and turns to the local priest for help. In the 1300's and the reign of King Edward, this was natural. What isn't natural is the local Lord's (Furnival) man claiming Asta's son as a "wolf-head." Anyone could kill him for a lot of money! Asta runs for his freedom - finding the idea of freedom fascinating in a land of serfs and extra taxes. On the run, he finds a dancing, juggling friend, and his real name: Crispin. The question is: will he ever run to freedom? Or must he first run back to the reign that holds him captive. Join Crispin as he finds out who he is, who he can trust, and where he must go.
1
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Hesse, K. (1997). Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic.
227
Billie Joe is a poet - a 'singer-of-words' who, after the damage, stood her in good stead as she tells the story of growing up in the dustbowl, during years of hardship, tragic loss, and hope. Hope is what she speaks of best, on a daily basis, while the dust swirls and her world battles to remain ungritty. Even in the most difficult moments, there's a spark of hope: hope that she'll get extra points on the test because they're testing in a dust storm, hopes she and her Dad can adopt an abandoned baby with the dimes her ma had been saving for her college: Texas A&M. A heartwearming, wonderful read about a type of life more difficult than most can imagine nowadays.
1
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Park, L. S. (2000). A Single Shard. New York: Dell Yearling, a Division of Random House.
148
Tree-ear, a Korean orphan who lives under a bridge with Crane-mane, a one-legged homeless man in Ch'ulp'o, watches a master potter from behind bushes. After the hundredth time, he breaks a piece of pottery and offers his services in payment. Thus begins a friendship that grows as Tree-ear comes of age. Tree-ear shows strength and courage as he works hard for Master Potter Min. When a Royal Emissary from China comes to Ch'ulp'o to commission potters for the Palace, a road of adventure opens up before Tree-ear.
1
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Curtis, C. P. (1999). Bud, Not Buddy. New York: Scholastic.
236
Bud is 10 years old and leaves the orphanage for a new foster home. The new home lasts lest than a night, and then Bud-Not-Buddy is on the lam. This begins the story of Bud's search for 'home' and takes him from Hooverville's to train tracks, from strangers carrying boxes of blood at 2:30 a.m. to upscale restaurants in someone's living room. As Bud travels, holding tightly to his suitcase, filled with memories of his Mom, he realizes 'home' is inside him - and a whole lot more. I highly recommend reading the Afterword.
1
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Lowry, L. (1990). Number the Stars. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
132
Annemarie and her best friend Ellen are ten year olds who race each other to school - but are no longer carefree children. German soldiers yell "Halte" and stop all of the games. Annemarie is confronted with many unhappy aspects of war, and yet finds courage and hope as she, her family and friends, resist the German occupation Denmark.
1
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Philbrick, Rodman. (2000). The Last Book in the Universe. New York: Scholastic Signature - an Imprint of Scholastic.
223
Spaz is a Banger. It's the only way to survive in the Urb of the future - with a Latchboss whose word is rule, and you never know the rules until you break one - far too late. Spaz used to be part of a family unit, too, but was sent off. He's not named Spaz for nothing, either, he spazzes out, big time. When he starts telling us this story - set far in the future (or maybe not) after an global earth-shaking experience - he's getting ready to bustdown an old gummy (guy has grey hair and everything!). Little does he know, this bustdown won't go down the way he expects. Join Spaz as he travels a hellish future road filled with adventure, girls, old guys, and lots of scary things we hope never to see on this planet.
1
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Sachar, L. (2000). Holes. New York: Yearling Publishing.
240
What a wonderful tale of fate, destiny and karma. It was reminiscent of gypsy curse tales, but set in present day. Stanley finds himself blaming his no-good-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather (as his father and his father's have done) for his ill-luck. He is sentenced to Camp Green Lake for 16 months for stealing a pair of sneakers. He did not steal them, and there is no lake. While there, he becomes a part of the group and gains a sense of belonging he never gained in high school. Of course, there are problems (and poisonous yellow lizards!) and somehow the past keeps creeping in: the original curse (that yes, did start with a pig) and Kissing Kate Barlow both play a large part in this wonderfully woven tale about integrity, honor, racism and being true to oneself.
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Applegate, K.A. (1999). Everworld: Land of Loss.New York: Scholastic.
185
I avoided this book for a long time because I thought it was yet another book about vampires! It wasn't. I was happily surprised to find it was about witchcraft, alternate worlds/realities, and four high school students trying to live in two worlds at once: the real one where Senna (a witch?) has magically transported them to another realm and the other realm - a world where vikings are attacking Aztecs - and the four friends are stuck in the middle of the battle! Three boys and a girl try to survive the jungles of a land reminiscent of South America, fight a large blue Aztecian God, and survive in a band of Vikings. Follow them as they weave in and out of both worlds - hoping to find a way to end the nightmare of Everworld.
2
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Cormier, R. (1986, 1974). The Chocolate War. New York: Bantam Doubleday Books for Young Readers.
191
A classic in YA fiction, this book deals with bullies, intimidation, and one student's willingness to stand up for what he believes in. Boys will like this book - as it is a very male-centric novel written in a hierarchical manner: will the good win out? Will Jerry continue to stand up for what he believes in, or fall prey to the hatred of the Vigils?
2
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Crutcher, C. (2001). Whale Talk. New York: Greenwillow books.
220
The Tao Jones rules! I love his voice, and his narration as he spends his final year in High School creating a swimming team, just to earn Blue Letter Jackets from the Athletics Department, is a scream! Savior of the down-trodden, trying to find a non-angry identity as a non-white in a town thirty miles from the Aryan nation fort, T.J. takes on all that is corrupt about school athletics. The characters that make up the swim team, their coach and the assistant coach (homeless while paying for his son's college) are well-described through witty dialog and anecdotes. A great read for any student establishing identity and willing to go against the grain.
2
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Hinton, S.E. (1995). The Outsiders. New York: Puffin.
180
Ponyboy grows up in the shadow of his big brothers (two) after his parents die. His brothers are members of the Greasers, who are always at odds with their rival gang, the Socs. Ponyboy wonders about the grey areas of life and society as he finds out real people (like himself and the other Greasers) make up the rival gang. As he battles with his coming of age, the gangs battle each other - leaving little room for black and white. Why do Socs hate Greasers? He sees the rivals as people and wonders about the injustice of a society that could pit one group against another: sometimes to the death.
2
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Ryan, P. M. (2000). Esperanza Rising. New York: Scholastic Press.
262
One of YALSA's "Best Books for 2004." A young girl finds herself through loss & struggle. Spoiled rotten 13 year old mexican girl looses father to bandits. Uncle tries to horn in on farm - succeeds. Mom & daughter flee thanks to help of servants who their Pa treated kindly. In the US, Esperanza finds herself having to learn a new language, a new way of life, and how to sweep. Set in the 1930's - it deals with immigrant populations, the repatriation act (and illegal deportations) and the depression.
2
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Armstrong, J., and Butcher, N. (2003). Fire-Us #1: Keepers of the Flame. New York: Eos.
304
Have you ever wondered what it would be like in a world without adults? This book takes a look at the earth, five years after an apocalyptic event. Follow Teacher, Mommy, Hunter and the other children who survived as they struggle for food, shelter, and their search for adults who survived. If they find them, will that be good? Or bad?
2
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Armstrong, J., and Butcher, N. (2003). Fire-Us #2: The Kindling. New York: Eos.
304
The survivors of the apocalypse have found a group of grownups - but find there's more to them than meets the eye. Now it's not a story about settling in and creating the family all the children have dreamed of (vague memories of pre-plague life), but a story of getting free and running for their lives. The language is still tough - you realize now that the Fire-Us was really a Virus that wiped out humanity, and there are many other examples of 'modified' words as the older children try to teach the younger children. What's great is that the mis-spoken words are often wonderful plays on the original - with a bit of a twist reflective of a child's interpretation. A great example is anger-man - who becomes anchor-man - and is always speaking as if he were conducting a newscast. He is still very angry, too, though. Find out what trouble they get into next.
2
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Armstrong, J., and Butcher, N. (2004). Fire-Us #2: The Kiln. New York: Eos.
256
This third book is a wonderful example of a great ending to a great trilogy. The mystery of the original apocalypse is solved, the children able to understand what happened that caused all of their parents to die, and a number of the group find resolution to baffling memories they've had. As a whole, this trilogy provides the classic elements of a great books for young adults: it has mystery, adventure, young adults battling for survival and winning, and no parents (except the occassional evil ones). What's even better is that it looks at relationships, the notion of 'what makes a family' and the rights and responsibilities of group members to the group as a whole. A fun and interesting read.
2
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Braun, L. J. (2003). The Cat Who Brought down the House. New York: GP Putnam & Sons.
This is the first of these books that I've read, number 25 in a seemingly never-ending series, and I'm amazed that anyone can be captivated enough by kitty-drivel and a faslely Utopian town 400 miles north of anywhere to read a second book! That said, the dialog was okay, the cats, while seemingly playing a role important to the story, were not well enough defined to make cat-owners happy, and the main character, Quill, enjoyed the benevolent benefactor role far too much to be a saint: more like a nice, but non-the-less, power-broker of local art and stores. The base-line of this story is a mystery - which is never actually discussed - but shows up a bit mid-way (someone's birds are missing!) and ends in death, and, finally, the resolution of the barely seen mystery. The characters are flat, the dialog okay, and the plot in need of a lot more thought.
2
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LeHaye, T. F. (1995). Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days. Illinois: Tyndale House.
468
I read the first four of this series when it came out - and enjoyed them as adventure/apocalpytic novels. The nice thing about them for teens is there really is NO sex, swearing, etc. These are Christian Fiction books that are wonderful stories. As an ex-Catholic, I was familiar with many of the things going on in the book, and their relations to the Christian dogma. Whether that was the skill of the author or my memories of church attendance, I'm not 100% sure - but I do know that the students reading these have enjoyed them too (and they've had varied religious backgrounds!). It's clean, good fun and a look at how easily it could be true: the way the end of the world plays out in the books!
This first book begins when a politician realizes 100 people have vanished from a plane - including his wife - and that her constant and dire warnings of an apocalypse (where the good would be taken to heaven) have begun. Unfortunately, he was left behind.
3
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Hanson, C. (Director/Editor), & Silver, S. (Writer). (2002). 8 Mile. [Motion picture]. Universal Studios.
dvd
Pop film about Eminem's rise to stardom - the tough road and harship, and amazing spoken word! As a poet/writer, this film was very appealing - not only from the 'street-wise' sense it provided of a culture I knew nothing about, but from the wonderful sub-culture of the spoken word brought to life! While there are many dark aspects to Eminem's life, his truth to his poetry and writing made him a very appealing character for me. Students I've talked to about this movie tend to be pretty lukewarm about it! Perhaps it's all old hat to them :)
3
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Giardino. (1998). A Jew in Communist Prague: 3. Rebellion. New York: NBM: Nantier-Beall-Minoustchine.
56
This graphic novel is well drawn, and accessible to students of many reading levels. In it, Jonas, a Jew whose father is in prison, meets with his friends in the park clandestinely - to read forbidden books. His part time job with Pinkel - a bookstore owner - takes a turn for the worse when he's asked to spy on the shopmaster. He and Pinkel write the weekly reports that must be turned in, and interestingly enough, not much worth reporting ever happens!  Then something does happen - Jonas meets Tatiana - and instantly falls in love. Follow Jonas through his struggle with the occupation of Prague and the love of forbidden knowledge. 
3
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Tarantino, Q. (Writer, Director). (2004). Kill Bill Volume I. [Motion Picture]. Miramax.
dvd
Quentin Tarantino at his bloody best! The premise of the film is believable only in that it follows the traditional samari revenge theme - this time with women as the venom filled vipers who wreak mayhem. The main character, played by Uma Thurman, was once a student of Bill's and part of the deadly viper pack. She leaves 'the life' and is in a wedding chapel with a video store soon-to-be-husband when Bill, and the pack, descend - killing everyone. Or so they think. The movie depicts her rampage against those who wanted her dead - and her skills as a warrior are made quite clear with all of the limbs flying and blood spurting. Great samari flick - with an excellent 10 minute anime providing background on one of the vipers.
3
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Tarantino, Q. (Writer, Director). (2004). Kill Bill Volume II. [Motion Picture]. Miramax.
dvd
It begins again - right where it left off the last time! More mayhem, more death, more revenge…there are only a few left to kill! As Uma Thurman kills off the remaining vipers, hoping to kill Bill as the finale, she finds out some information that could upset her plans - and we find out she's a lot smarter than she looks swinging that sword around! Action action and more action, with a plot that holds together and a conclusion that, while somewhat expected, is still enjoyable.
3
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Meltzer, Brad."Today I Am a Man." Jack & Bobby. WB TV 6-7pm, Oakland. . Broadcast. 05 Dec 2004 (NOTE: MLA style followed because APA does not cite unarchived sources).
tv
I walked in on this show a few moments after it had started - and until it was done, had no idea what I was watching! I knew, though, it was a show that teens would like. There was a mom, trying to 'talk' to an older/teen son (who wasn't listening of course!), then on to another scene where a 12 or 13 year old son was talking to his gay uncle - getting help with his tie. Bobby, tie complete, goes to his best friends barmitvah...and after agreeing with his uncle that he wouldn't move in on his friend's crush, ends up in a coat closet alone with her. He's caught kissing her and it spirals downhill from there. I then checked out the WB website to find out what I was watching: Jack & Bobby. It's an historic look at the way a mid-century (2050) president was raised - and the forces that shaped his character. How fantastic! Teen-angst all over the place with a little bit of sci-fi! I highly recommend it - especially since I found out, too, it's all the rage amongst the teens.
3
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Coon, J., Covel, S. and Wyatt, C. (Producer). (2004). Napolean Dynamite. [Motion Picture]. Fox Searchlight.
film
Half humorous, half tedious! It was like a flashback to the seventies: replete with music, bad clothes, sketchy uncles and dysfunctional families. The hero - Napolean - is a nerd. He has some ups and downs and remains: a nerd. Likeable though. It surprised me it was set closer to present day than it was (there's a point where they try to time travel back to 1982). In the end, Napolean still lacks social graces, but dances better, and beats his new / first real girlfriend at tetherball. Not a lot happens in this movie, but it's fun.
3
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Star Wars 60" screen @ Dave & Buster's
game
The appeal is clear - to teens and adults who are kids at heart - because if you continue, and improve, you win! As you advance through the levels, you learn the pitfalls, and avoid them the next time, prolonging your life and getting further and further into the game. I liked this game because I like the movie, and I could use weapons in a positive way (to get rid of the pawns of the Dark Side). I also liked the setting: Dave & Busters! (It's a Chucky Cheese for adults - but teens love it too!). After a few tries at pinball - I even managed to become a Jedi youth! :)!
3
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Jackson, P. (Writer and Director). (2001). Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. [Motion Picture]. New Line Studios.
DVD
What a fantastic rendition of the trilogy by JR Tolkein. Frodo and his friends set out on a daunting quest, one that becomes more and more difficult as the Ring of Power insinuates itself and begins to take over Frodo. His friends help him through, and the journey begins to the land of Mordor, where Frodo must toss the Ring into a pit of fire. Gandalf, always near in times of dire need, is wonderfully portrayed. The fellowship itself is made of dwarves, elves, exiled human princes, and often falls to bickering amongst itself. The hobbits, throughout, are stalwart.
3
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Jackson, P. (Writer and Director). (2004). Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. [Motion Picture]. New Line Studios.
DVD
This culminating film in the series leaves nothing out, and leaves no doubt that the three together are an epic of epic proportions. Aragorn must reclaim his thrown - but comes home to thousands of Orcs, Frodo and Sam are still fighting and finding their way to Mordor - fighting the evils and strength of the Ring and the guardians of Mordor, and of friends: gollum (or ones who are pitied).
3
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Jackson, P. (Writer and Director). (2003). Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. [Motion Picture]. New Line Studios.
DVD
In this second of the series, astounding landscapes, fantastic battle scenes, and horrible evil continue to abound. The best part was the Tree People and the demise of the evil wizard (who resembles gandalf a bit too well to keep us from being nervous!). No longer travelling as a band of fellows, small groups break off and we track their separate courses through the landscape of good and evil, clearly defined and wonderfully filmed.
3
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Wachowski, L. & A. (Writers, Directors), and Silver, J. (Producer). (2003). The Matrix. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers.
dvd
This excellent and cutting edge futuristic thriller captivated audiences with its special effects and film noire qualities. Young adults love it! The music was the best - and the soundtrack was a big hit for a long time after the movie went off the big screen. Set far into the future, and after a war between humans and computers, you'll be amazed what you find out if you dare to take the red pill - will the truth set YOU free?
3
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Wachowski, L. & A. (Writers, Directors), and Silver, J. (Producer). (2003). The Matrix Reloaded. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers.
dvd
The first of this trilogy could be considered the 'action' piece. This, the 2nd, then, would be the drama piece - weaving a tighter story and bringing the characters along. While not as 'snazzy' as the first movie, this stands alone well in its own right. The special effects continue to be excellent, and the story engaging. The music soundtrack? Not as good as the first!
3
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Wachowski, L. & A. (Writers, Directors), and Silver, J. (Producer). (2004). The Matrix Revolutions. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers.
dvd
This final movie of the trilogy was a bit of a letdown for all involved. The special effects, while still good, seemed almost passee.The soundtrack left a lot to desire and the scripting seemed more of a 'let's wrap this up' than a culmination of a good trilogy story. In this final movie, Neo must realize his destiny - or the human race might lose.
3
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Ziegesar, C. V. (2002). Gossip Girl. Boston, MA: Little Brown.
199
Oh.My.God. Think Valley Girls at Sweetwater High with less consciousness, more vidictiveness and enough money to do anything they want - in New York! No really - the book could be likened to a Soap Opera for the 90's. While I actually started liking a couple of characters (Serena at least goes out and meets other people!), this is NOT my type of book! That said: the author was wonderful! To keep the two-dimensional flat-ness of characters throughout a novel and still carry through with great dialog and mediocre action is a feat. The use of the 'unknown' Gossip Girl who spouts: You know you love me (and so do a couple of the characters - so you never know who it is but intimate it's one or another character throughout reading the book) is audacious and works with the niggling stories, crazy drinking sprees (continual) and clique-i-ness of high school.
3
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Faulkner, C. (2002). A Shocking Request. New York: Silhouette Books.
Grant's recently deceased wife has left him a video - of her. In it, she asks him the unthinkable: that he start dating again. Clearly not happy with this advice, he continues to watch the tape and is even more schocked by her next suggestion: date Jenna, her best friend. Thus begins a tale of love, romance and people coping with the loss of loved ones. Grant's three daughters are clearly a part of this story, and Hannah, who thinks her dad is a geek and is jealous that he has a date for Friday night and she doesn't, comes to terms with seeing her mother's best friend become a part of the family life.
3
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Pogo Games. Pogo. Club Pogo. 16 Oct. 2004 .
This site is a fantastic procrastination machine - one I became all too familiar with after working for a few hours on books, magazine and movies! It's a great way to 'focus' but not really have to think. There are gadgets, and games - with varying thought concentration levels, and the nice thing is: you always win! Even if you don't win every hand, the site itself is geared to keep you playing, always increasing tokens or nudging you to the next level if you completed the first too easily (Tumble Bees - spelling 4 to 7 letter words, is a great example of this). There are card games, board games, gambling, slot machines, word games. It's all very graphic, well-done and offers incentives to stay involved. I had a couple of students tell me about the Texas Poker page - then played against them during lunch at school! A student in our class recommended this site to me - and i'm still not sure whether to thank or curse him!
3
a
"Smallville." WB TV 8-10 Oakland. Broadcast 08 Dec 2004. http://www.thewb.com/Shows/Show/0,7353,%7C%7C126,00.html.
tv
I watched this series when it first came out - had roomates who were hooked on it. Coming back to it, after it had a few years to mature, makes it even better. The plot is action packed, the characters very accessible to teens, the lines between good/bad within characters either well-defined or intentionally blurry. I was more impressed, or perhaps glad to see, the improvement in graphics, lighting, directing that has occurred over the years. The WB continues to create cutting-edge, appealing teen/20-something shows.
3
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Columbus, C (Director), Kloves, S. (Writer) and Heyman, D (Producer). (2003). Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers
dvd
Harry and his best friends Ron and Hermione are back at Hogwart's for another fun and adventure-filled year of magic. Before leaving his Uncle's house, Harry gets a visit from Dobby - a house elf - who gives Harry dire warnings and bangs his head quite loudly on the dresser. Harry, Ron and Hermione are all interested in the Chamber of Secrets - it's been opened again they say. What beast comes forth from it? Who can stop it? Watch and find out.
3
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Cuaron, A. (Director), Kloves, S. (Writer) and Heyman, D, and Columbus, C. (Producers). (2004). Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers
dvd
Is Harry's Uncle Sirius really a deranged escaped criminal from the horrible prisons they have for wizards? Or is he Harry's only real hope? Nothing is as it seems, and the magic continues in the Potter series - filled with non-stop action, great friends, wonderful escapades and stunning visuals and visual effects.
3
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Columbus, C (Director), Kloves, S. (Writer) and Heyman, D (Producer). (2002). Harry Potter & the Sorceror's Stone. [Motion Picture]. Warner Brothers
dvd
This movie did a fantastic job, not only of following the story line quite closely, but of making a magical, fantasy production. Harry is a young wizard just coming of age, and realizing there's a bit more to him than he knew before. Soon, he finds himself leaving his horrible home (his Aunt, Uncle and cousin are hideous to him), and embarking on a journey to Hogwart's - a school of wizardry and magic.
3
a
Hirsch, K. D. (1997). Mind Riot: Coming of Age in Comix. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.
123
Short teen comix, touching real-life teen issues, with notes from the authors before each comic, explaining what got them into comix, why they're still into them, or anything else the author wanted to share. Love, angst, grandparents' deaths, stereotypes, incest, abuse, guilt over masturbation (as told by a bunny boy!), homophobia and more! These comix are fun, funny, tantalizing and a bit frightening!
3
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Kuper, P. (2003). The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. New York: Crown Publishers.
Graphic novel - This is a great depiction of Gregor Samsa in his metamorphic state. Kuper captures Kafka’s intent exceptionally well in this graphic novel adaptation of the classic story. The dance of characters, etched in white on a mostly black background, is fluid and graceful. Grete and her parents adjust as best they can to Gregor’s new form, but alas, it’s a difficult task. Gregor struggles with his new form as much as his family struggles with him – all parties succumbing eventually to a tired defeat…or not?
3
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Winther, Peter, and David Titcher."Quest for the Spear." The Librarian. TNT Cable TV, Oakland. 05 dec 2004. Broadcast. 06 Dec 2004 .
tv
Indian Jones meets the bibliographic McGyver in this made for TV movie. It has all the earmarks of a series: cute actors, good characters with bad attitudes and clearly defined (if far too cliched) bad guys. Flynn, the 30-something still-in-college guy living with his mom gets kicked out of school because his professors want him to get a life. He applies for a job as a librarian, and amazingly enough - is hired! A bit of the supernatural (shades of fantasy and a bit of James Bondian manipulation) infringes when he finds out he's actually been hired to ensure the safety of the whole world by guarding various legendary items: the sword in the stone (Excalibur), the Ark of the Covenant, Pandora's Box, and of course, one of three pieces of the Spear. Here the bad guys take over, steal it, and he must not only recover it, but the other two pieces as well. Enter tough girl. With his brains and her brawn, they're bound to succeed!
3
a
Wittlinger, E. (2002). The Long Night of Leo and Bree. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
111
On the fourth anniversary of his sister's brutal slaying at the hands of her boyfriend, Leo flees from his crazy drunk mother and rambles around New Jersey, finding a young woman who looks like she should have been stabbed instead of Michelle, Leo's sister. Bree, fighting the despair of a boyfriend who doesn't value or respect her, parents who demand she remain close-to-home during her upcoming college years, and coming to terms with the fact that she is NOT happy with her life, decides to find a bar in a rough side of town. The story follows the characters as during a long night - which begins when Leo kidnaps Bree - intent on killing her to silence his sister's voice.
4
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Chbosky, S. (1999). The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York: Pocket Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster.
213
Charlie writes letters to an anonymous person, and while at first, it appears he might just be writing in a journal, we find, mid-way through, that he does go to mail them! Of course, we're still not sure if there's actually anybody there on the receiving end. His English teacher assigns books to read, on the side, and Charlie must write essays on them. Every book Charlie has just finished becomes his favorite book - which he reads twice. This book is a quiet, somber look through the eyes of a wallflower. He takes everything in and contemplates others' happiness/sadness before his own. We follow Charlie through his Freshman year and the summer after it. Find out if Charlie is ready to be sophomore.
4
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Pelzer, D. (1995) A Child Called It. Deerfield Beach, FL: Omaha Press Publishers.
198
This story was disturbing in its simplicity: a small child simply doesn't know there is anything 'more' or 'better' out there. Dave's journey attests to the human spirit - and Hope. Told in a first person narrative, this child, whose mother refuses to name him after a time and simply calls him It or The Boy, suffers an overwhelming amount of abuse. I won't ruin the ending for you - but he does live - amazingly enough! The book is a fascinating read, and a heartwrenching story.
4
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Teen People
mag
 
4
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YM
mag
 
4
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Seventeen
mag
 
4
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Vizzini, N. (2000). Teen Angst? Naah… Canada: Free Spirit Publishing.
227
Wow! Teen Angst and nobody dies, no one has sex, and no swears are allowed (at the prom, one student uses the eff word a lot, but it's only the eff word (Ned lets you know his publishers won't allow him to use the actual word!)) I love this author's voice - and even better - I enjoy his essays on growing up, playing Magic all night at a local nerd-spot in New York city, and the side-comments (literally - the comments are on the side of the page: the author adds points NOW to show what he was thinking THEN - when he wrote the essays). This 'quasi-autobiography' provides a great picture of the fun, confusion and struggle of growing up: without the typical YA baggage (ie: they all live). A good read - and clean fun!
4
a
Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.
197
Follow Melinda through her first year in high school - a tough enough experience made even tougher by the fact that *everyone* hates her! No, really. The summer before freshman year starts - she's at a party - and calls the cops. Nobody understands why, even Melinda, and they are all angry at her for it. As she progresses through her year, with an Art Teacher who forces her to draw trees, her lips peel from lack of talk and constant rubbing. Melinda must come to grips with her freshman year - but will she be able to? A powerful book about talk and art.
4
a
Arnoldi, K. (1998). The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom. New York: Hyperion.
68
Graphic novel - A great lyrical tale about horrible things happening all of the time! This teenage mom is really on her own, raising Stacie and getting help from her friend and room-mate: Debbie. At seventeen, she doesn’t know what she wants to do, only that she’s constantly told: you made your bed, you lie in it! Spend some time with her as she spends time making dreams and struggles to realize them.
4
a
Bechard, M. (2003). Hanging On To Max. New York: Simon Pulse.
142
This first person narrative by Sam, a high school student, tells of his junior year raising Max, his baby, with the help of his Dad, the school's Day Care Center, and his Aunt. Brittany, Max's mom, has moved to Boise - to start over. The tone of this book is great - hitting on both the struggles and rewards of being a teenage Dad. The ending was fantastic - and well done. The book provides insight, and closure, for both the reader and Sam - a character I came to like and respect as the story unfolded.
4
a
Garnett, G. Z. (2001) Visible Amazement. Brookfield, CT: Roaring Book Press.
285
A current day LA fairy/cinderella tale with a main character who runs away to sleep with a gay dwarf in the woods, before continuing on to find her place in the Hollywood scene. Rampant sexuality (implied and explicit!) but humorous, touching, and so unrealistic as to be fairy-tale like in its reading. There is no confusion about whether or not this 'could' happen to you - it won't! The character's strength, values, outlook and willingness to reveal herself to the reader are to positives of this book.
6
r
Hayden, T. (1981). One child. New York: Avon Books: An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
336
Sheila is six years old. At four, she was abandoned by her mother at a chain link fence on the highway. Now, she has tied a four year-old boy to a tree and lit him on fire. The courts say she should be committed, but there are no beds at the institution. Torey accepts her into her special education class at the public school - and so begins a very difficult, but heart-warming year as this angry, abused, never-loved child finds her way into Torey's heart. To make matters worse (or better), Sheila's IQ tops the tests at 182.
12
a
Jacobs, T. A. (1997). What Are My Rights? 95 Questions and Answers About Teens and the Law. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
199
This book is easy to follow and easy to read. It is broken down into chapters that address family, job, school, bodies, weapons, rights and punishments. It is also well-indexed. Under the "What are my rights?" section you can find out if you must wear a motorcycle helmet and the laws that apply - in 2 chapters or less! This reference is also indexed under motorcycles - making the book easy to read through - or easy to find a specific item. Interested in divorcing your parents? You can in Florida! (Right after you find out who really the right to 'discipline' you!) Good information, great resources (including many social service numbers and the Child Abuse Hotline) and is written with a quick and to the point style that teens will like. The downside? The book is already seven years old and a number of items are out of date.
4
a
Mackler, C. (2003). The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
256
Virginia is fat. She lives by her 'fat-code-of-conduct' and survives a mother who is obsessed with her daughter's 'failure' to fit the family mold of lean, lovely children. She explores sex, friendship, and more as she travels through her high school years, and finds a way to deal with her notion of 'self' - a self that doesn't fit the perfect model. While I found the situation to be lest than realistic (the family's too rich, the brother gets into an 'awkward mess' in a surrealistic way) I loved the way Viriginia relates her stories in this first person narrative. I also enjoyed the ending!
4
a
Sommers, M. A. and Sommers, A. L. (2000). Everything You Needed to Know About Virginity. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.
56
This book contains matter-of-fact conversations about the penis, the hymen, and the traditional roles of virginity. It presents the ins and outs, ups and downs of sexuality from a physiological and emotional standpoint, asserting that most teens lose their virginity due to peer pressure. Good graphics, large, easy-to-read print make this short book accessible to teens. The narratives of sexual compromise (in teen voice, 1st person story form) are realistically worded but seem a bit stilted and formulaic. Good facts interspersed throughout the book (20% of sexually active teenage girls get pregnant – 1,000,000 a year!). The tone of the authors leans toward abstinence, but other choices are explored.
5
r
Bartoletti, S. (2001). Black Potatoes: theStory of the Great Irish Famine 1845-1850. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
160
This book is a new and more exciting way to bring history to young adults. Geared to the middle school level, it addresses historical facts about Ireland and the Great potato famine. While I can't picture any student, except a lover of history, picking this up for a 'fun read,' I can see teachers reading from, or assigning stories from, this book to engage students in looking at what it was really like during that time in history. It is yet another (all too familiar) look at government control and how harmful it can be.
5
r
Minghella, A. (Director & Writer), Pollack, S. et al (Producers). Cold Mountain. [Motion Picture]. Miramax.
dvd
This movie was not my typical type of story (there's too much drama in real life!) but I liked it! I especially like the strong female characters, and the portrayal of power-abuse by the men who stayed behind to 'mind the shop' while all other men went to fight in the civil war. While parts were sad, it was an uplifting and heartwarming piece that showed the struggles faced, honor lived up to, and integrity coming through in the end.
Stay for a while with Ada on her farm in Cold Mountain, a small town. Set during the Civil War, this film's story line follows Inman's journey home to Cold Mountain during the time of the Civil War, but serves as a better depiction of the trials of watching loved ones leave for war, and the injustices perpetuated by those who stay behind and take power. The strength of the female characters in this movie is unforgettable, as they find a place for themselves in a era that typically demanded their place be 'at the hearth.' This poignant capsulation of struggle, heroism, friendship and strength in the face of adversity is well-served by the casting director's choice of actors and actresses. The portrayal of the Civil War - so different from the typical 'war' portrayal - only heightens the viewer's understanding of the time, people, and significant daily events of a trying time in America's history.
5
r
Follain, J. (2002). Zoya's Story: An Afghanistan Woman's Struggle for Freedom. New York: Harper Audio.
audio
On the ALA List of After Oprah 6 as a "read-alike" book for Latifa's "Cane River." This Audio version is well-read and tells a horrific tale of Afghanistan politics from the eyes of a young girl who watched as the Russians took control of her country. The Mojahadeen eventually overthrew the Russians and continued with an even more oppressive regime. Eventually, as Zoya neared her teenage years, the Taliban took and held onto control of Afghanistan. Now Zoya - and other women like her - are not allowed to laugh, show skin or fly kites...actually, no one is allowed to fly kites. Zoya, with her grandmother, escapes to Pakistan after her parents disappearance, to learn. She becomes part of RAWA (the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan). This book is often compared to the Oprah-listed My Forbidden Face (Latifa). Hearing it was powerful - it was exceptionally well-read.
5
r
Motorcycle Diaries
film
Okay - I did not get to see this, and it is now out of the theatres! I'll anxiously await the DVD and get caught up when it comes out. I *did* enjoy the discussions of it on the bulletin board!
5
r
Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books: The Putnam and Grosset Group.
42
This is a great children's book about the civil war, friendship, battles, and the hate that rampaged a nation. A young man finds himself wounded on a field; laying there for two days, wondering what's to become of him, when he'll die. That's when he hears a voice - a real voice - and meets Pink. Pink carries, drags, and supports Say as he brings him to the burned down, run-down place where his mom is keeping hidden. A great story about horrible things.
5
r
Hackford, T (Director), White, J. L. (Writer) and Hackford, Benjamin, Baldwin and Baldwin (Producers). (2004). Ray. [Motion Picture]. Universal Pictures.
film
This movie is an inspiring look at a strong mother, an artistic child who pushed himself forward after witnessing his brother's death and losing his sight, and an excellent look at the history of segregation and the troubles in the south. The problems I had with it was the disgraceful way Ray treated others, after having been treated so well himself by any number of people who touched his life. Still - a good movie.
5
r
Rees, C. (2003). Pirates! New York: Bloomsbury USA Childrens Books.
340
Nancy, 16, must leave London after the death of her father. She sails to Jamaica and a plantation he owned there because her brothers (both older) demand it. Her once wealthy family is now limited to a ship and some land, due to her brother's gambling, drinking and lack of business sense. After a storm wiped out the family fleet, and her father passes away, Nancy must find a new life in Jamaica, where she is disgusted by local practices (the old and decrepid lying on the sides of the road, dying). She is even more unhappy when her brothers demand she marry a wealthy local land owner: the Brazilian. The only comfort she finds is in her 'slave' Minerva and Minerva's mother. Minerva quickly becomes her friend and together, they plot their escape from a horrible life on the island - to become pirates of the high seas! A great depiction of the confines of women in the 1800's, and a wonderful, rollicking adventure as Nancy and Minerva share friendship and adventure as pirates. The might even find true love!
5
a
Hesse, K. (2001). Witness. New York: Scholastic Press.
161
This 5 act poetic play, set in 1924 Vermont, is a troubling tale of the Ku Klux Klan and a small town's reaction to their presence. It's about friendships, people's worth (regardless of race or religion) and the importance of having a purpose. Sara finds comfort in six year old Eshter's talks with flowers and animals; Leonora finds friendship with Mr. Fields, a skinny old balding almost blind white guy. The pictures of the characters (show before the first act) helped a lot as I began to read the lines. All lines were spoken in the first person - a little story was told - or piece of one. it was an interesting style and took a bit to get used to, but I loved the tone it provided, and the insight into the characters via their different descriptions of the same events. Don't miss the interview in the back with the author, where she discusses reading an article about the Klan in Vermont in 1924 while skimming through an airline magazine on a flight! What a way to get ideas!
5
a
Staples, S. F. (2003). Shabanu Daughter of the Wind. New York: Dell.
240
Shabanu is only eleven when we meet her, a camel-herder's daughter growing up in the Pakistani desert. Her old sister, Phulan, will be married soon, and Shabanu must come to terms with her love of the joys childhood allows her, and her duty as a woman in the Muslim and Hindu traditions. Shabanu "speaks true" throughout the book, in a voice that reaches and creates understanding. We watch her grow, struggle, experience loss and grief, and love and joy. A beautiful book - and a wonderful look at coming-of-age in another culture. Parts of the book are difficult to take (from an American culture point-of-view).
6
r
Cormier, R. (1998). Heroes: A Novel. New York: Delacourte Press.
135
I must say the back cover gave me a totally wrong impression about this book. Set during World War I, we find the narrator - Francis - attempting to adjust not only to post-combat life in a small town, but to the memories that drove him to enlist when he was only sixteen (he faked his age to join). The other characters in the book are a bit shallow (his 'girlfriend' and the dance teacher) but enough sense is given of them to allow you an understanding of Francis' motivation. Overall, a good read. (I wonder if this is more a guy book - and perhaps that's why I'm wishy-washy about it!).
6
r
Shakur, S. (aka Kody Scott). (1994). Monster: the Autobiography of an LA Gang Member. New York: Penguin Books
383
This matter of fact tale of the life of a gangster - banging since he was eleven, is haunting in its simplicity and tone. Kody (who became known as Monster and is now Sanyika) retells, from his prison cell, what it was really like to be Crip. He tracks the escalation of gang warfare in South Central LA from a front seat perspective. He explores how the sets (subgroupings of gangs) have grown and how what was once a war of Crips and Bloods has become an all out guerilla war of one Crip cell against another. In and out of jail, always going back to his mother, his bike, his 'out of the gang' girlfriend Tamu, and, of course, his gang (the Eight Trays), Sanyika reflects on the 130 year old experiment of multiculturalism in the US - and believes it is a failed experiment. He doesn't point fingers; he takes responsiblity for his actions; he rages against the factors over which we have no control. A gripping account of the life of a gangster.
6
r
Sparks, B. (1996). Almost Lost: The True Story of an Anonymous Teenagers Life on the Streets. New York: Avon Flare.
256
This book is allegedly the male version of "Go Ask Alice" (a book I loved!). I'm not so fond of this one. It's a teen angst meets evenagelicalism meets new-age spirituality (or at least Jonathon Livingston Seagull). I believed (hoped) the preachy tone of the counselor would change, but it doesn't! That said - the story line is good. Samuel, a teen in trouble, seeks suicide as refuse from the murky black nothingness that overwhelms him. With he help of a counselor and the support of his Mom, sisters and grandmother, (and the cutesy tricks the counselor suggests) he overcomes his negative feelings and begins his road to reovery by uncovering traumatic events in his past.
6
a
Plath, Sylvia. (1997). The Bell Jar. New York: Harper Audio.
I had forgotten how accessible the themes in this book still are! It's all about virginity (and the duplicity of men who don't have to have it) finding one's niche in the world (or retreating from it totally!) and partying until you puke in New York! Ah, what started as a one-month fashion magazine job turns into a treacherous path of goals and finding happiness with one's self in the niche society creates. The language is dark, the mood often bleak, but the statements about self, sex and satisfaction appeal to all people finding their way.
7
r
Howard, R. (Director), Goldsman, A. (Writer), Grazer, B (Producer). (2002). A Beautiful Mind. [Motion Picture]. Universal Studios.
dvd
An excellent look at genius, insanity and how easy it might be to lose oneself to illusion. This film was marvelously done, and its impact on the viewer expertly woven - both through the storyline and the quality production. Nobel Laureate and Math Genius John Nash struggles to finish college and find a place in life that accepts his talents: numbers, sequences, hidden meaning in equations of all types. He is obsessed. Follow him as he finishes school, picks a life to lead, and continues to hunt his favorite: the meaning behind it all.
7
r
Christian, S. and Felix, A. (1997). Shake, Rattle & Roll: The World’s Most Amazing Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Forces. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
111
Great Visual Cover! Christian does an excellent job of combining fact, interesting anecdotes, and graphics to present a reachable discussion of earthquake and volcanic activity on our planet. Every few pages, there are experiments (including baking a cookie sheet of mud to see how tectonic plates form!). This is an easy to read book, and very appealing to YA – due to its short synopsis format: no one discussion lasts more than a page; there are many breaks, graphics, and boxed paragraph ‘mini-descriptions’ of words or phrases (lava plain, trapped magma). It also provides interesting facts: the Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions in the World.
This book is geared toward younger readers, but makes the science and geography of the planet interesting and fascinating for readers of any age! The book blends tidbits, facts, interesting visuals, and clearly designed examples of what it is explaining about the natural forces on our planet. Each aspect of an item is devoted to one or two pages, with boxed inserts of intersting facts or anecdotes, and pictures or drawings that reflect what is written about. I found it interesting to read, and quick! I gained an understanding of volcanic action, and also what really happens during an earthquake. I recommend this for young adults - especially struggling readers - who will find it accessible.
7
r
New for kids. (n.d.). retrieved Nov. 16, 2004, from Kids Main Page Web site: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/home/index.html.
web
Great Video interaction - Buzz Aldren and other astronauts (including women!) speak what is written on the 'intro' parts to each section - good for struggling readers! The layout is pretty clear, easy to follow, and has enough gadgets to engage. Videos provide good information and visual / audio materials (Mars Beyond is a good example). The "kid page" has great younger student activities (including clips and interactions with various elements of learning to be an astronaut). The site is very hi-bandwidth intensive, and I couldn't find the 'mars rover' page I used a half year ago or so - to explore the mars surface driving the rover (it was great!). For the high school students, there are competitions, 'search tips' and homework help (how to find things easily on NASA to complete assignments). All of it is 'net-user' friendly. I love this site and often have it as a homepage (when I'm not homepaging google!)
7
r
Smithsonian Education. (n.d.). retrieved Oct. 22, 2004, from Students: A Place for Kids to Explore, Discover & Learn Web site: http://smithsonianeducation.org/students/index.html
web
Extremely interactive! There are colors, well-drawn icons depicting the various categories (from cool, to heroic, to fun…), and music to indicate differences in icons, too! While this site is geared toward younger students (probably 3rd to 8th grade), all ages would benefit. Once an icon is clicked, students are then presented with a multi-media presentation. (the narrator's voice annoyed me, but kids would probably like it!). Great information, dynamic and interesting layout - a place kids can go for learning about various history or current events.
7
a
McGrayne, S. B. (1997). Blue Genes an Polyester Pants: 365 More Surprising Scientific Facts, Breakthroughs and Discoveries. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
194
Did you know Velcro was fashioned after a plant (the Cocklebur) and that it takes a 2-inch square piece of it to hold a 175-pound person on the wall? Did you know our planet is seamed like a baseball bat with a 37,000 mile volcanic trench under the ocean? Did you know there are over 13,000 kinds of knots? Find out this and more as you read, magazine style (short, sweet, to the point!) about the latest and greatest! It includes topics like: math, animals, astronomy, our planet. The layout is friendly, each section short, and the bizarre bits of knowledge fascinating! A very accessible book.
7
a
Unesco: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (1962). 700 Science Experiments for Everyone. New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers.
224
Packed with great, hands-on science experiments! I would recommend it to anyone who likes to play with sound (how to make your own gramaphone and record or how to make a simple telephone transmitter), a naturalist (how to make your own weathervane and filter water), and a visual artist (making a smoke-box to study light rays or learning how to make colored lights using soap film and a feather). The good stuff begins after chapter 3; everything before that really is intended for a teacher. While this book wasn't 'my' thing - I believe it will appeal to others who enjoy playing around with science!
8
r
Card, O. S. (1991). Ender's Game. New York: Tor Books.
384
Ender Wiggins - scrawny - computer geek - is called upon to save the world as one of the new breed of military fighters. The training is endless - and virtual - revolving around a video-game series that sets up the players in lose-lose positions against an irrascible enemy who WILL come and conquer the earth. All is at stake, but Ender and his friends continue to find ways to outflank and outmaneuver their video game enemies. There's hope for the planet.
8
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Card, O. S. (1991). Speaker for the Dead. New York: Doherty Associates.
382
Ender tries to redeem himself in this second, and not as good, book in the Ender's Game set. After almost wiping out an entire species, he's got a lot of guilt. Can he overcome it? We're not sure - but it might be better for all around if you read the sparknotes and just moved on to the third (and much better!) book of this series.
8
r
Card, O. S. (1991). Xenocide. New York: Tor Books.
394
Back to better writing and a fast-moving plot! Ender is still on a planet, attempting to save everyone and everything and get over his guilt (from the first book!) of wiping out most of a species! On this planet, Lusitania, there is one remaining Hive Queen, some killer and very mutative viruses (virii?) and a computer to laugh with! (or at). This is Card again at his best - and this book worth reading
8
r
Paolini, C. (2004). Eragon. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers.
544
What a great tale!! And the author was just 16 years old when he wrote this. Tolkein meets McAffrey in this wonderful tale of a boy dragon-rider (the last of his kind - and thought to be extinct!) who faces hardship, makes friends and enemies, and grows in strength and character as he travels the land. His parents are killed at the hands of the enemy (Ra'Zac) and he must find his way. In doing so, he becomes more than he was - and may need to become more still - an entire world might be depending on him! I can't wait for the 2nd book (the Eldest).
8
a
Anthony, P., and Jacob, P. (1990). Isle of View. New York: Avon Books.
344
I read through 17 of the Xanth series over a short period of time, years ago, and remember this as my favorite! In re-reading it, I picked up right where I left off - in love with Piers Anthony's style of writing! The puns, plot twists and cohesiveness are exhilerating. Let's just say that the Isle is a 'place' where a Prince can't say: I love you! (or pick the 'right' girl to marry). In between this underlying dilemma, this 13th of the series adds goblins, a Centaur, and magical Elf girl (Jenny) and a love triangle that doesn't really exist, well, kind of! Light, airy, feel good sci-fi that's definitely enjoyed by word-play buffs, too!
8
a
Green, S.R. (2002) DeathStalker Episode 2: Friends Enemies & Allies. New Jersey: Listen & Live Audio.
audio
The readers on this audio book were fantastic! There were both male and female voices for the characters. My favorite quote from the story is from Hazel D'ark (one of 2 main characters) about her best friend on Mistworld: Ruby Journey. "She's a sadistic, amoral psychopath and those are her better qualities." The story itself reminded me a bit of star wars: great settings, cool characters, and an evil empress oppressing an entire galaxy. The way Green builds his characters is great - Hazel and Owen Deathstalker are 'real' to the reader. We have also met side characters who, I'm sure, will play larger parts in other episodes - for example: Valentine, pretty fluffy drug-fed aristo who is much more than meets the eye.
8
a
Heinlen, R. (1961). Stranger in a Strange Land. New York: Putnam.
464
Grok! Ah, Valentine. The 1960's were the perfect setting for your words of wisdom: love, accept, be free, be nest-brothers. Jubal Hurshaw - an author in your book and the one who 'takes you under his protective wing' could easily be seen in today's world as the head of the Playboy empire. If only the Martian's that raised you - then returned you to your parent's home planet - had thought to warn you what happens to Messiah's - no matter how nice the message - you might have stayed on Mars. What you showed us, though, is timeless: love is good (and should be free!), we're all in this together (in many more ways than I care to explain!) and some people are nice, while others should just succumb to the will of those who are! Instead of saying now: it's all good! We'll say in memory: Grok!
8
a
Le Guin, U. (1974). The Dispossessed: an Ambigious Utopia. New York: Harper & Row.
341
What would it be like to live in total anarchy? Find out - then leave! Follow Shevak as he finds a way off of the moon to the planet below (where an alleged democratic government allows the people to flourish). Shevak asks good questions and has a great eye for detail: of the people, their interactions, and their societal functions. What is left unanswered, by the end, is whether or not true anarchy can exist for any extended time - or whether, by societies' very natures - it becomes mechanical and entrenched. This book is made for philosophers, and those who enjoy reading about alternate societies. LeGuin, famous for "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" and the conundrum of the deontological vs. ontological (would you sacrifice the one for the good of the many? Does the end justify the means?). Any who want to more clearly understand and (hopefully) ask questions about the society and structure in which they live, will do well to read this book.
8
a
L'Engle, M. (1973). A Wind in the Door. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers.
211
Meg is a teenager who is just plain 'plain' (or so she believes). She lives in a family with famous scientist parents, an amazing little brother Charles (genius!) and two very normal, twin brothers. This book begins with fewments (dragon droppings!) in the vegetable garden, moves to an evil school Principal (or is he just lonely?) and ends up with the crisis - not only of Charles' well-being (his mitochondria are sick!) but the well-being of the whole human race! I read this book every five or six years, and always enjoy it - becoming more and more amazed at how well it's written - and also how much of the 'far-out' sounding stuff (science or math) is REAL! (We DO have mitochondria in us!).
8
a
L'Engle, M. (1984). A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers.
211
Meg's dad is missing, her mom seems upset, there's world crisis right around the corner, and now Meg & her brother are whisked to another world! Could it get any worse? Megatron (as her dad fondly calls her) just wishes she had social skills, and that her brother, Charles Wallace, would talk when others were around so they wouldn't think he was dumb. In between trying to figure out what's going on with her missing dad, Meg is also trying to figure out how she feels about Calvin - who's popular at school, nice, and with her on this wild adventure! If you haven't had a chance to tesseract yourself (fold time in a wrinkle to travel to other dimensions!), then join Meg as she does!
8
a
McCaffrey, A. (1978). The White Dragon. New York: Ballantine Books.
497
Jaxom and Ruth (his dragon) are too young to join the men, and too old to play children's games. Ruth's disadvantage (she was the runt and is still small - and the only white dragon!) is soon forgotten as she gains fame talking with the fire-lizards. Jaxom grows up and becomes respected as he moves through a series of adventures.
8
a
Ouellette, P. (1994). The Deus Machine. New York: Villard Books.
446
Espionage, intrigue and a bit of cyberspace! This book is believable, even though it’s fantastic! You would think you were hanging out on the west coast of the United States, but everything’s a bit different – thanks in part to a government conspiracy, an extremely intelligent computer program and network lines crossing global boundaries. And that is just the beginning.
8
a
Paulsen, G. (1998). The Transall Saga. New York: Delacorte Press: Bantam Doubleday.
248
Mark sets out on a one week trek across the desert to do what he loves: hike, survive and spend time in nature. His plans change when he's swallowed by a blue light, with no supplies, and thrust into an alien world. Battling firebugs and howling things, he meets the people of the planet as he tries to find a way back to the blue light so he can go home. His survival is now dependent on his knowledge of nature, but there's nothing natural about this world. There's also nothing natural about the leader of the largest tribe trying to hunt him down - if Mark can survive nature, he'll then have to survive whatever this guy has in store for him.
8
a
Pierce, T. (2003). Shatterglass. New York: Scholastic Press.
363
Magic, espionage, intrigue and murder make this magical mystery a great read for teens. Trisana (the teacher-mage) and Kethlun (her student) find powers in their talents they didn't know they had as they track down a murderer. While Pierce remains faithful to her magic and fantasy, the added element of mystery brings this book to the top of my list for books she's written.
8
a
Pierce, T. (2002). The Circle Opens: Cold Fire. New York, Scholastic.
355
The characters (female) take power (magic) and gain power through teaching (I loved that part!). The responsibility that comes with being a mage includes teaching any you find with power - if you can't find a teacher for them.  Kaja - the main character in the first of this series, stumbles upon twins!  She grows with the responsibility, and constantly battles frustration - the teacher's motto! :) 
8
a
Pullman, P. (1996). His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass Trilogy). New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers.
416
Girls skipping school and getting into almost more trouble than they can get out of! It doesn't get much better than this. Lyra is often up to no-good, but ends up finding out how hard life can be as she becomes embroiled in assassinations, Dust, and enemies. Luckily, there are friends - often found where least likely to be found! This is a mystical ride that holds together well throughout the entire series. After finishing these three books - I tried other Pullman series, but definitely think this is his best.
8
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Pullman, P. (1996). The Amber Spyglass. (The Golden Compass Trilogy). New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers.
352
Will begins this story by following a cat - into another world! In this world, children rule - and adults can't be found anywhere! You'd think this would make life easy - but it doesn't! Of course, there's plenty of adventure, and friendship, but hardship too. Lyra and will must overcome great odds, sacrifice a lot of themselves, and try to understand why everything and everybody seems ready for war! Pullman writes fantastically - you always know the characters well, and can (eventually and just in time!) figure out the twists and turns of his adventures.
8
a
Pullman, P. (1996). The Subtle Knife. (The Golden Compass Trilogy). New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers.
465
Lyra continues to be my favorite character! She is a bit independent and adventurous - but that's good! She and will are now ready to fight the good battle: against all of the adults who are trying to kill them! Luckily, Lyra and Will have the Compass and the Knife - but will that be enough? Or will they have to stay in one world - hopefully one where catastrophe won't continue to befall them. Find out if they survive...and how the world fares.
8
a
Rosoff, M. (2004). How I Live Now. New York: Wendy Lamb Books: an Imprint of Random House Childrens Books.
194
Daisy, a neurotic, anorexic girl who flees from her newly acquired wicked stepmother to live in England with cousins, never accepts her true name (Elizabeth), but that's okay - because she really is more like a Daisy anyway! She comes to find a new home amongst her strange cousins (Edmond and his sense of knowing what you're thinking, Piper and her ability to whistle conversations with animals and all sorts of living things, and the other two brothers). As soon as she has settled in some, a war breaks out. It's not really a The End of the World type war, and it seems, for a while, that the kids are not really affected by it (except of course, by their missing mother - Daisy's Aunt - who was away 'working' when it began). The older brother plays spy and meets at the local pub with other spies to get the latest on The War. Daisy, Piper, Edmond and the rest are greatly affected when the army comes to seize the house and buildings for their use. Follow their struggles - to understand friendship, loss, the importance strength in the face of adversity - and how they struggle to make it through impossible circumstances. While a lot of this book asks the reader to 'suspend disbelief' quite a bit - I enjoyed the voice of Daisy as the narrator, and her story.
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Rowling, J.K. (1999). Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkhaban. New York: Scholastic.
435
Who really knows the truth? Not Harry, as he struggles to find his place in the wizarding world of Hogwarts School. Not only that, he doesn't know who to believe (except, perhaps, for his best friends Hermione and Ron). Sirius Black, an infamous prisoner held captive by Dementors who suck thoughts (especially good ones!) from your mind, has escaped. Everyone is on edge, but no one more than Harry when he finds out more of the truth: Sirius Black could be a friend! There's lots more going on all around, as there always is: magic, foul play, great adventures. Join Harry as he tries to find out who really is a friend - and what that means for his future!
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Rowling, J.K. (2000). Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic.
734
Harry has put up with another summer at the Dursley's, and there's only two weeks to go until he returns to Hogwarts! One night, his scare flares with pain - soon forgotten in the excitement of the World Cup Quidditch match and school on the horizon. The Quidditch match is hilarious and a bit on the dark-side, as voluptous Veela, cheering for the Bulgerians, are rudely gestured at by the Leprachauns (cheering for the Irish). It's another action packed, fun-filled set of predicaments for our favorite hero - but this time: someone's out for blood (You-Know-Who). Harry's blood! To make matters even worse (or perhaps better?) Harry is chosen to take part in a TriWizard Tournament - and they play for keeps!
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Rowling, J.K. (2002). Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic.
352
Another mystery confronts Harry on his return to his second year at Hogwarts. The walls are speaking to him - and dire warnings that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened don't keep him and his friends from trying to find out what the Chamber holds - or even where it is! Draco - arch-enemy and lead antagonist from the Slitherin House - doesn't help matters any, but his friends - and Hagrid of course - stick by him during the adventures.
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Rowling, J.K. (2001). Harry Potter & the Sorceror's Stone. New York: Scholastic.
384
A magical mystical place where the downtrodden rise with power and perception to cure the ills of the world - or at least raise a little dust around the Dursley's home! Harry is young, and different. Not only has he been ill-treated by his Aunt, Uncle and nasty cousin (who adopted him after his parents died - only because he was left on their doorstep!), but he's never been told what he really was: a magician. In this first book, we see Harry begin to find out who he is, what his parents were like, and how magical it is to live in London, where track 9 3/4 will take you to Hogwarts - the place where magic is common and professors can be decidedly eerie.
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Siegel, J. (2000). Prospero’s Children. New York: DelRay.
331
A capricious mermaid starts a centuries old problem, and Fern and Will (brother and sister) must solve it – or else! There’s a key, a heath (English countryside talk) and the mystery of Atlantis, all rolled into one great tale of excitement and adventure. A must read for any who like mystery, adventure, and a touch of the fantastic.
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Westerfield, S. (2004). So Yesterday. New York: Razorbill: the Penguin Group.
225
Do you think of yourself as a trendsetter? An innovator? Or perhaps a follower? Join Hunter as he is paid to review sneaker advertisements, and lead the trendsetters and their media in focus groups. When he meets Jen, tier-of-shoelaces-extraordinaire, things really shake up. He makes the mistake of bringing an Innovator to a Trendsetter review - and she asks the wrong question. In response, Mandy (Hunter's boss) asks him to bring Jen to a special meeting - and then disappears...only her cell phone is at the meeting spot. Hunter and Jen embark on a journey of intrigue and strangeness, but the book keeps a focus on the media-blitzed, ad-aware sellers of products. A fun read, and a great voice.
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Zahn, T. (1994). Conqueror's Pride. New York: Spectra.
416
In this first book of three, we meet Aric & Melinda - who set out to rescue their brother illegally. The invasion of the Commonwealth by a new and highly advanced alien species (with a willingness to kill all in their path), has put NorCoord on high alert. When the government refuses to acknowledge their brother may be alive, and may have been the sole survivor of 6 warships patrolling the edge of the sector, the family takes matters into its own hands. There's more going on though: their father finds himself searching for old legends on an alien world, a world whose aliens were noted for their passivity and low intelligence. He begins to find this might not be the case - and still finds no records of the old legend that might help him find his son.
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Zahn, T. (1995). Conqueror's Heritage. New York: Bantam Books.
368
In this second book of three, Pheylan has been rescued by his brother Aric and the Commonwealth continues to dealw with a deadly and dangerous agressor: the Zhirrzh. The races are more clearly developed, and even more of the Zhirrzh become likeable characters as the war continues between the Zhirrzh and the Commonwealth. Enter the Mrachianis - and decide for yourself whether they are as helpless as they seem - or whether they are indeed manipulating both species to their own benefit.
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Zahn, T. (1996). Conqueror's Legacy. New York: Bantam Books.
496
In this third book of three, the war between the Humans and other alien races that make up the Commonwealth, and the Zhirrzh, continues. Zahn has created a believable scenario - and the reader watches the struggle unfold between the species, knowing things of which both sides are unaware. Will the Zhirzzh and Humans be able to outwit the manipulative Mrachiani? Or will war continue, based on a lie and a misunderstanding? Find out as Zahn wraps up his Conqueror's Trilogy in this wonderful conclusion to a well-told tale.
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Eminem. (n.d.). Mosh. retrieved Nov. 09, 2004, from MTV Web site: http://www.mtv.com/bands/az/eminem/artist.jhtml.
video
When I first saw "Mosh" it was on MTV's front page as one of the top 5 downloads. I used it in the Propaganda collaboration unit - and found the students recognized and liked it - it engaged them even more in the political unit, and they loved that we (those fuddy-duddy adults) had actually gone out to find some of "their" music! The music itself is lyrical, snappy and tells a tale (as do most of Eminem's lyrics).
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Franco, B. (2000). You Hear Me? Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
107
Note - the author also wrote: "Things I have to Tell You" by teenage girls.
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Madden, J. (Director), Norman, M and Stoppard, T. (Screenwriters). (2003). Shakespeare in Love. Miramax Home Entertainment.
dvd
Using a current 'hot' cast, this excellent portrayal of a Shakespeare not-often-seen is fantastic for adults and young adults alike. It is humorous, full of friendships and romance, and captures the flavor of the time well. The students I spoke with who've seen it enjoyed it, and I'd recommend it to any teaching Shakespeare as a way to provide students with some background (true or not) that captures what it may have been like during that time in history.
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Thomas, Annie (ed). (2002). With Their Eyes. New York: Harper Collins.
223
An amazing look at the real-life effects and aftermath of September 11th’s fall of the World Trade Towers, from a High School Community four blocks from ground zero. The monologues flow well, and stand alone well, too. Written in a verse-like style and including all of the colloquialisms of real people talking (like, um, ah), the prose-like style adds to the play. Not only does this book give a great, non-media-hype picture of what it was really like to be a part of that American history, it seems to have given hope and healing to those who created and took part in it.
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Live 105 (radio). Broadcast.
audio
I typically listen to KFOG and LIVE 105, and a majority of the artists are played on these stations. When approaching this piece of the assignment, my students helped a lot! A number of artists I enjoy and still listen to are still 'hot,' and amazingly enough - some of the older artists still come out on the MTV top 10 list. The artists I reviewed were: Lyrics Born, Linkin Park, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Green Day, Offspring, TLC, Eminem, Cake, and Tupac. Of all of these, Lyrics Born is probably the newest and most up-and-coming. Students were amazed when I included a clip from their top hit in the research presentation (with a good subwoofe in the library even!).
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Angelou, M. and Feelings, T. (artist). (1987). Now Sheba Sings the Song. New York: Plume: The Penguin Group.
54
This book provides an excellent way for young adults to access a longer and more difficult poem – a poem that details the growth of a woman of color, from before birth, to old age and wisdom. There is more art than lines of words, each picture creating a visual for the reader, portraying aspects of the poem. This book is a wonderful way to introduce students to a poet of renown, and a poem worth reading.
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Brenner, B. (2000). Voices: Poetry and Art From Around the World. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
98
The photos and images captured in this book are astounding. Intuit and Navajo voices join Galway Kinnell as they talk about North America. Each major continent is covered in these pages. The poems range as much as the topics covered: frees verse, rhymed, metered verse. An oil on canvas, done by Max Beckmann in 1949 (“The Beginning”) is a perfect adornment for Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem: Childhood Dreams. In the section covering the Asian continent, the Epic of Gilgamesh rests next to one stanza (taken from the 1000 line Rubaiyat). Students will enjoy the colorful photos and art on each page, enjoy the shortness of the poems, and maybe even gain a sense of other cultures!
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Chipman, B. L. (1972). Hardening Rock: An Organic Anthology of the Adolescence of Rock ‘N Roll. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company.
213
This tribute to the adolescence of rock ‘n roll is replete with pictures of the era. The lyrics (poems) are categorized: growing pains, school, teen beat, and are easily read by teens – even if they’re not fans of ‘moldy oldies!’ From Shop Around, to Splish Splash, from Who Do You Love to Get a Job, teens will enjoy these songs. While the book itself is a bit dated, it would be easy to entice just one music-loving teen to its contents, who would recommend it to a friend, and then another friend…and another.
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Clinton, C. and Alcorn, S. (illustrator). (1998). I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
112
From better known poets and their work (Gwendolyn Brooks – We Real Cool) to those less commonly spoken of but equally important (Phyllis Wheatley – Liberty and Peace), this book paints a picture of America – a history often repressed. Students will enjoy the nature of the poems: masked, unfree, oppressed, and in them, find many connections to being a young adult in America: finding and making an identity too long ignored, finding strength and conviction, finding self. Hughe’s ‘Harlem’ asks “What happens to a dream deferred?” and is answered well, later in the book, by Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.” All of these poems and pastel illustrations that complement them make this a beautiful work.
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Collins, B. (2003). Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry. New York: Random House Trade Paperback.
352
Tom Wayman's "Did I Miss Anything?" speaks directly to the heart of the adolescent experience in school - as seen by a teacher. The book starts off with a poem by Collins himself: "Introduction to Poetry." Poets and teachers will both gain a laugh (or cry!) from reading this piece. About half of the poems in this book are great for young adults, addressing a lot of learning, school-type stuff in unpredictable ways. Other poems in the book (for example, "In Praise of Bic Pens") might require some teaching, or remain unclear to the novice reader. While this book is great for teachers of poetry, who could choose which poems to use with their students, it might be tough for a new poetry reader to enjoy. Don't let this deter you, though! I plan to hand it out with the adage - you'll love half of them - you just have to figure out which half of them you love and only read those!
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Fleischman, P. (1998). Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper Trophy: a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
44
I think I misread the title when I ordered this last year - I thought it said Poems for TEEN voices! This book is all about BUGS. Short, lyric, beautifully illustrated, this book of poems is meant to be read aloud: sometimes with two voices speaking as one - giving power to the same lines, sometimes alternating with a flavorful beat - and other times with two voices speaking dischordantly. Each poem gives a sense of the insect it depicts, from water striders and bootlice to fireflies ("Light is the ink we use, Night is our parchment" p 11). While the book itself appears geared to a much younger audience, I think teens could have fun reading this aloud.
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Hipple, T. (editor). (2000). Writers for Young Adults: Supplement I, Cumulative Index. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
This book is a great resource for librarians and/or teachers working with Young Adults and Literature. The series itself boasts three volumes, with this supplement bringing it even more up to date. Each of the authors highlighted here from Applegate to Woodson, are presented in the same format: a brief publishing history, a quote from the authors or a character in one of their books, and some background on their family and early life. The rest of the pages devoted to the author tend to cover a specific, well-known or award-winning book, and contain a selected Bibliography of the author’s works – and works about the author. All of this information is contained in a few short pages – well-written and easily read.
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Hughes, L., and Pinkney, B. (Illustrator). (1994). The DreamKeeper & Other Poems. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
96
This book was first published in 1932, the only book of verse Hughes wrote for young readers. In this new edition, seven additional works have been added. Hughes covers everything from holding tight to your dreams (Dreamers) to loss of innocence (After Many Springs) to death (Irish Wake) and the hard steps of life (Mother to Son). The illustrations (etchings) complement the flavor of his words. Mostly rhyming, his words set imagination on fire, kindle the spirit, and warm the hearts of those who read them.
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Koontz, D. and Parks, P. (ill.). (2003). Every Day’s a Holiday: Amusing Rhymes for Happy Times. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
144
While a bit cheesy, these lyrical, rhyming poems with great illustrations are very accessible for new readers of poetry! A great way to get teens to try poetry – they’ll appreciate his Holiday Data Glitch, where all of the celebrations are messed up because the Holiday Management Elves failed and the new computer didn’t help! From George Washington’s Birthday to Sakura Matsuki (Cherry Blossom Festival) to Holiday’s on Other Planets and Kwanzaa, Koontz makes fun of himself and stereotypes throughout the book.
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Linthwaite, I. (2000). Ain't I a Woman! Classic Poetry by Women from Around the World. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.
244
From Maya Angelous to Sappho, from Yolando Ulloa (Cuba) to Suniti Namjoshi (India), this book contains powerful writings by women and about women, both within the home, within the cultures, within the world. This book has its roots in the theatre, and in Sojourner Truth's famous speech of 1852. A love letter to Samson from Delila (by Carole Gregory) epitomizes the tone of this book: strong, daring, and finding humor where one can. Poetry readers will love it, young adult women will enjoy it!
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Nye, N. S. (1996). This Same Sky: a Collection of Poems from Around the World. New York: Alladin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster.
208
Each poem within these pages provides the author, country and translator. Sometimes, it's a surprise to reach the end of a poem and realize it was not written in your backyard, or even on your continent. The poems resonate with humanity, and feelings that cross cultures. This is the best part of the book. Broken down into universal themes of words and dreams, family and human mysteries, the poems capture a sense of people across borders. The pages themselves may not be appealing to young adults (poor paper quality for such beautiful words), but the thoughts and vision of the poets within will be.
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Nye, N. S. (1998). The Space between our footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
144
Nye has succeeded. In her intro, she states "this is what I want a book of poems and paints to be - a surprising spring waking us from our sleep. A feast of little dishes. An unexpected walk along the rim of a majestic city. Ahlan Wa Sahlan - You are all Welcome!" The is an underpinning of sadness to these poems - giving voice to a land and culture not often heard from. there is a beauty in the pages - the words and art flow together like the river stolen from a house, where minnows once provided the beads for a rosary made by a father. There is hope, too, in these pages that talk of growth, penned by Deema Shehabi Korsheed (p27) after Pablo Neruda's "Walking Around." The book is a feast of vision and a look into visions of self and homeland.
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Okutoro, L. O. (2002). Quiet Storm: Voices of Young Black Poets. New York: Jump at the Sun: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children.
102
Each chapter begins with a well-known poet's verse and continues with the writings of young adults on a myriad of subjects: black pride and unity, home and homelessness, falling in love, and dreams of a brighter future. Jason Dion Beasley - 15 years old - is wishing to someday shed this dreadful skin, wishing for people to see what is really within (p 44). My inspiration - a poem dedicated to Gwendolyn Brooks, gave me a view of a world I don't know. This set of poems is a soft-etched view into a world of pain and joy - pride and fear - that I do not know...but I better understand because I've read it.
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Philip, N. (2000). It’s a Woman’s World: A Century of Women’s Voices in Poetry. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.
93
A twelve year old Eva Pickova relates fear of the ghetto and typhoid fever in a concentration camp; Maria Wine, Swedish, depicts the fear women have of themselves; Hira Bansode’s poem Woman, translated from the Marathi, speaks of relationships with men (or of rivers and the sea). This book encompasses many cultures and view, and provides an excellent sample of women’s voices over time. With only a few visual clues (occasional photographs), it might be more difficult to ‘sell’ to young adults, but the depth and breadth of the poems themselves, laid out clearly on stark pages, will entice young readers into gaining a clearer sense of women: their roles, and hope, and fears.
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Shakur, T. (1999). The Rose that Grew from Concrete. New York: MTV Books/Pocket Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
176
Okay, now I have to get a Tupac CD! If Nikki Giovanni’s forward (Tupac CU in Heaven) wasn’t enough to sell me on this, I was totally hooked by page 19 “only 4 the Righteous.” The lyrical beat of the poems, the side-by-side seemingly incompatible blend of literate words, poor spelling and “chat-room” symbols for language, works well. On the left of every page in this book, you have Tupac’s writing – journal-style; on the right, his words (poems) are typed out for you. As I read his poems, I can hear the beat, the strength, the gut-twisting realism of it all: a world I’ve only witnessed from the edge. I have to hear him, now, because I am, indeed, one of those curious to whom he dedicated: In the Event of My Demise.
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Silverstein, S. (1974). Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
176
Lyrical stories of all crazy things, sometimes the pagers just seem to sing! From Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too, (flying around in a large feathered shoe), to the Glurpy Slurpy Skakagrall (three thousand pounds and nine feet tall!), you’ll love the voice of Shel Silverstein, he’s happy, he’s sad, he’s nice and he’s mean! This book of poems appeals to teens! The rhymes and the drawings are just what they seem: fantasy stories or scary new tales, from fishes and band-aids to snowmen and whales.
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Silverstein, S. (1981). A Light in the Attic. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
176
Tips on how to break a dish, and yes, oh then, you’ll get your wish, “go dry them” they will never ask, and you’ll escape the onerous task. Thus begins another frolicking ride through the short and accessible verse of Shel Silverstein – his first poem details what you should do if assigned the task of drying dishes! While the stories may be geared to a younger audience, they are easy and fun to read by teens.
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Silverstein, S. (1996). Falling Up. New York: Harper Collings Publishers.
184
A snowball runs away, a mouse climbs in your hair, the people zoo is open, and there’s more, much more, in here! Yet another of Silverstein’s wonderful collections: tales and drawings that engage young readers in poetry. He continues to delight, enchant, excite, and unite all students in stories of the fantastical, and sometimes down-right mundane! Listen to the voice.
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Sword, E. H., McCarthy, V. F., Pohr, and Tom (ill.). (1998). A Child's Anthology of Poetry. New York: Scholastic
352
"Do you carrot all for me?" an anonymous poem early in the book, set the delightful tone: food and love, and continues later with animal crackers by Chris Morley. Many great poets are represented in this often ludicrous, alphabetical by author, poetry anthology. These poems are geared specifically toward children. While it may not be a book young adults read through (311 pages!), it is a wondeful addition to the shelf for thumbing through and enjoying.
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Teasdale, S. (1962(1930)). Stars To_night: Verses New and Old for Boys and Girls. New York: The Macmillan Company Publishers.
89
Stars and cloueds speckle the pages along with black and white drawings by D.P. Lathrop. Teasdale's poetry is very accessible for new poetry readers. These verses tend to be short, eloquent, and very visual. The impact of the words will resound with teenagers. Her book ends on a grandiose note, with Autumn Dusk - a four line poem that speaks of confidence, strength, power, and belief in oneself - perfect for young adults.
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Tom, K., Tom, K. and Frost, M (illustrator). (2001). Angst! Teen Verses from the Edge. New York: Planet Kiki LLC.
133
Chapter 6, "Poetry 101" emphasizes awareness of the world around you and reporting on it (spin on your head until you get dizzy. Report your observations). A list of Tools from Alliteration to Stanzas, and Poetic Forms, from Acrostic to Tanka, is provided - with hints on how to approach all of them! My favorite part of this series of poems is Chapter 5, where we're finally over the love rants, the player-bitterness, the hurt (although I think chapter 1 through 4 will appeal to teens!). The first poem of chapter 5, My Youth, by Amber Nicole Lupin, contains the line: there were lazy days filled with Cadillac sin; another poem by Aja Watson is entitled Suburban Suicide. Short, clear, and enticing for young adults, these poems can be read quickly or at length. The major drawback of this book is its poor binding - after only two people had checked it out, a number of pages had come unbound and it is now sitting on a desk waiting for a calm moment to be fixed!
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Vecchione, P. (2001). Truth & Lies: Anthology of Poems. New York: Henry Holt & Company, LLC.
160
This bok of classic and new poets resounds with deceit, lies and what it means to be true. From William Blake's "A Poison Tree" to the "Clay Jug" by Kabir, students will enjoy this short compilation of poetry about truth…and lies. The book itself will be appealing to young adults because of its size: small enough to fit in a pack and carry easily, but they'll also love the weight of its words.
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Willard, N. and Provenson, A., and Martin (illustrators). (1981). A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers.
48
Willard begins this book with a story of herself, at seven, with the measles. It explains her love of Blake and the book resounds with hints of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. The meter and rhyme adeptly match many of Blake’s pieces. Students would especially enjoy the banter of the wildlife and beautiful illustrations that adorn the pages. The book itself is wonderful in its own right – hardback, table-sized, colorful – it’s a wonderful addition to a library and a great companion to the study of any of Blake’s works.
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Ziegesar, C. V. (2000). Slam! New York. Alloy Books: the Penguin Group.
155
An excellent selection of poetry, SLAM definitions by youth, and relevant quotes from famous poets and musicians. The book is laid out in a lively manner, with quotes sneaking down the sides of the page, pictures interspersed in a balanced fashion, and, every four to seven pages, yet another attempt to explain what the SLAM is all about - or how to start writing your own poems. This book is very accessible for poets and young adults alike. From Robert Frost to Tori Amos, from Shakespeare to Garbage (a band), the snippets of poems, plays and lyrics add greatly to this collection of poetry by SLAM participants.
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Dumas, F. (2003). Funny in Farsi. A Memoir of Growing Iranian in America. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks.
208
This book provides an excellent glimpse into the life of an Iranian immigrant family. The tone is funny, ironic, and everyday. Dumas makes the difficulties of growing up Iranian in America touching, heartwarming and uplifting. Even when recounting some of the more trying moments, Dumas manages to keep her sense of humor and humanity. This book is an excellent read for young adults and adults alike!
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Runyon, B. (2004). The Burn Journals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
384
An amazing story of an eighth grader who, in the first twenty pages, soaks his favorite black bathrobe in kerosene, steps into the shower, and lights himself on fire. The book is a journey of recovery, both from severe burns, and from depression. What astounded me most about this biography was the excellent way the author captured the voice of an eighth grader: from worries about his ‘religion’ (the Ace of Spades) to concerns about his penis. The voice, almost nonchalant and not terribly sad, left me wondering: what was the reason for suicide? Brent, as he struggles toward recovery, is often unsure himself.
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Wolff, V. E. (1996). Bat 6. New York: Scholastic Press.
230
An inventive way of telling a story: each chapter breaks down into three or four voices - the voices of 6th graders in a small town, where the 6th grade girls' softball team wants to win the cup back from the Ridge. The setting of this book is shortly after World War II, and the girls, in addition to talking about life in a small town, and the weight of expectations, softball, and friendships, befriend again a young girl who was sent off for years to the Japanese camps in America. There's also a dad who refused to fight in the war, and many dads who did. The tone of these vignettes if wonderful, and the sense of the time, the confusion about loyalty and love, is classic and timeless.
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Bass, E. (1996). Free Your Mind. Perennial Currents.
448
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Bauer, M. D. and Underwood, B. (illustrator). (1995). Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. New York: Harper Trophy.
288
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Boock, P. (1999). Dare Truth or Promise. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
208
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Brown, R. M. (1983). Rubyfruit Jungle. New York: Bantam Books.
256
This book is great! Molly Bolt is a funny, hard-hitting teen struggling to grow up as a lesbian in America - and still keep a sense of humor. The dialog in the book is fantastic, and so is watching this hysterical, strong young lady become a 20-something adult - with all the sass still intact!
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Futcher, J. (1995). Crush. Alyson Publications.
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
10
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Garden, N. (1998). Annie on My Mind. Farrar, Strous and Giroux.
256
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Hartinger, B. (2003). Geography Club. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
226
Russell feels like the only gay teen at his high school. After meeting a gay teen in a chat room, he agrees to meet in person and share identities. It's none other than ___ - Jock extra-ordinaire and the last person Russell thought might be gay! He tells his best friend Min about it - and she tells him she's bisexual! It's a great start to a book that just gets better. In order to meet without raising suspicion - the group of teens sets up a Geography Club - figuring no one would want to join. After a couple of meetings, however, there's a new face at the door - and she wants to talk about maps and cartography and all things geographic! Find out how the club deals with her, and the issues they have being gay or bisexual teens in a typically bigotted school-setting. You'll love the characters. Russell's voice is right on target, and many teens will relate to this story of hiding your true self - and what happens when you decide you want to share it. The good, the bad...the real.
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Heron, A. (1995). Two Teenagers in Twenty: Writings by Gay & Lesbian Youth. Alyson Publications.
182
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Kerr, M.E. (1995). Deliver us From Evie. New York: Harper Trophy.
192
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Mastoon, A. (1997). The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories Celebrating Lesbian, Gay and BiSexual Young People. New York: William Morrow & Company.
87
Before even opening this book, I knew it would be beautiful. Set up like a Coffee Table Book, each person's tale of finding and dealing with their sexuality in everday life is replete with a photograph - high quality and capturing the 'essence' of the person - and a hand-written note. Growing up, Mastoon (the photographer) felt 'alienated and alone' as his 'sexual orientation became a secret sorrow, rather than a celebration of love.' He developed this book so others who were struggling as he had would find external reflections that verified and affirmed their inner feeligns. Each picture is a tale - directed toward the reader - of the struggle, or success, of coming out or simply living as a lesbian, gay or bisexual teen. All of the people portrayed in this book were 17 to 22 years old at the time of its publication. This is a beautiful book - with wonderful stories - and hope for students struggling with their own sexual identities.
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Myracle, L. (2003). Kissing Kate. New York: Ballantine Books.
198
Lissa, a junior in high school, is having a tough year. Over the summer, her best friend Kate was drunk - and they kissed! Back in school, they don't talk - at all, and Lissa is missing having a friend to talk to when she needs one most! She's confused, and hurt, and worried. Many things keep getting in her way of really thinking about her problems, though: her Saturday job driving Entrees on Trays, the new girl they hired there (Ariel) and how she wants to be Lissa's friend, and her little sister Beth who's starting to grow up. I really like the way this was written - and the fact that the ending is not all 'hollywood wrapped up.' A great book about friendship, self, and how hard it is sometimes to figure things out.
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Peters, J. A. (2003). Keeping You a Secret. Megan Tingley.
256
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Rich, J. (2002). Growing Up Gay in America: Informative and Practical Advice for Teen Guys Questioning Their Sexuality and Growing Up Gay. Franklin Street Books.
226
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Ryan, S. (2003). Empress of the World. New York: Penguin USA.
224
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Sanchez, A. (2003). Rainbow High. New York: Simon & Schuster.
272
What fantastic dialog! Perfect for teens - especially teens 'outside the norm.' This book is not only for teens questionning their sexual identity (or already having found it, finding it different from the standard heterosexual roles of today's mainstream society), but for any teen asking tough questions about: how much is my friendship worth? Giving up the rest of my life? The next four years? Next year? How much is my 'reality' worth? If I tell everyone what I really think and am, will I be ready to face and pay the consequence?? These are just some of the questions adroitly handled by Sanchez as the three main characters make their way through high school. Find out if Nelson stays with his boyfriend (HIV positive) and whether or not Jason is willing to risk an athletic scholarship to come out as gay to his team. Great dialog, hip scenes, and good questions and dilemmas.
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Shimko, B. (2002). Letters in the Attic. Academy Chicago Publishers.
194
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Williams, B. (1988). Girl Walking Backwards. St. Martin's Griffin.
256
I wanted to (and will) read these - but ran out of time for end of class - will read for ongoing Mini-Project GSA page.
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Brown, D. (2003). The DaVinci Code. New York: Doubleday.
454
Robert Langdon is a symbologist - studying symbols and their interpretations throughout history. After an old man is murdered at the Louvre, Robert (who happens to be in Paris) is asked to look at the crime scene. Hus begins a twisted tale of secret societies, ancient secrets and a quest for an ancient artifact. The twisting and turning plot keeps you enthralled and guessing until the very end - and a suprising conclusion. It's a bit scary how easily believable all of the intrigue is in this book - you might wonder if there ARE things like this going on all around you!
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Brid, B (Director & Writer) and Walker, J. (Producer). (2004). The Incredibles. [Motion Picture]. Walt Disney/Pixar.
film
Pixar continues to rock the boat and shake things up making fantastic animated films that appeal to both adults and young kids! Teens will especially love this one, their latest, and the family type story including angst, heroism, and unbelieveable feats of accomplishment! A must see.
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King, S. and Straub, P. (1984). The Talisman. New York: Ballantine Books.
768
This was one of my favorite books in high school! I loved Jack - a kid like any other who just got moved to the end of the world (New Hampshire - where I lived growing up!) with his mom - who's dying. He meets an old guy at a video game place on Hampton Beach, and Speedy Parker becomes a friend. Speedy helps Jack understand his daydreams are not daydreams - but a door to another world called the Territories. In this other world, a Queen is dying - just like his mom in this one. Thus begins a magical Quest to save his mom and the Queen. There are deadlines, and adventures, friends and enemies, and through it all, one young boy named Jack - who must succeed in his quest to cross the country on foot and save his dying mom.
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Lowell, E. (2001). Moving Target. New York: William Morrow - an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers: Copyright: Two of a Kind.
453
I am so excited I found another mystery/intrigue author! I mean, I love Kellerman (both of them I guess) and Dan Brown, and Alan Folsom, and the whole Sherlock Holmes, Alfred Hitchcock, and Agatha Christie set, but I'm always looking for new fun authors to read - and she's it! I thoroughly enjoyed this present-day intrigue based on a 1,000 year old Celtic rune (ruin? or scarf?). The descriptions of the Illuminated Manuscripts are fantastic, and the hot, steamy, are they ever going to get together questions about the two main characters keep you going! If you liked Dan Brown's stuff - try this! (and add a little Harlequin).
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Baldacci, D. (1997). Total Control. New York: Warner Books.
694
What I love most about Baldacci's writing is done best in Total Control. He creates believable characters and situations and twists them just a little - enough to be scary and exciting. What's best is the fact that what puts you on the edge of your seat is typically something mundane, something you've done a number of times and not thought twice about. Stepped out of a store onto a sidewalk and almost bumped into someone lately? Saved an email to your desktop? It's a simple as that: you're hooked into a web of intrigue and suspense that is believable and captivating - wait'll you find out who-done-it.
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Brown, D. (200). Angels & Demons. New York: PocketBooks.
430
This is a great intrigue/espionage book. I have now read all of his works (four) and found this to be my favorite. While the DaVinci Code might be the hottest on the market right now, this book, written a few years before, is his best! He reminds me a lot of Allan Folsom (Day After Tomorrow, Day of Confession and The Exile), and teens will love the twisted plot, the oh-so-believable undercurrent of tricks and lies by large corporations and government institutions, and the heros that keep this book going.
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Evanovich, J. (1999). High Five. New York: Audio Renaissance.
audio
This is one tough bounty hunter! And she's sexy, too! You know it because Ranger, the 'side-job' manager Stephanie Plum hooks up with because everyone is showing up for their court dates (no one to hunt down!) gives her a black porsche! Of course, Stephanie has trouble holding onto things, or rather, is good at blowing them up, and while she hunts for a missing Uncle Fred (wait until you hear about the pictures he had hiding!) she goes through cars, boys and ideas - trying to unravel a quickly thickening and mysterious plot.
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Folsom, A. (1998). The Day of Confession. New York: Little Brown and Company.
576
Written five years before Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, this book is similar in many ways - it's well written, contains a believable yet unbelievably twisted plot, and holds true to itself throughout (the characters are always believable and while circumstances might push the edge of believability, the skill with which Folsom presents each scene makes us accept the action). Harry is an LA lawyer who receives a call from his borther - a priest at the Vatican - after years of being out of touch. A few hours after the call, a bus explodes and Danny, his brother, is said to be on it and presumed dead. He flies to Rome to collect Danny's body and i sucked into intrigue of amazing proportions: corrupt policemen, corrupt clergy, and international assassins. Whe he begins to uncover is a plot so widespread, so damning, he recognizes its truth only after he is forced to go on the run - accused of crimes he didn't commit. He races against time to solve the puzzle, save himself, and possibly bring about the fall of the Vatican.
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Folsom, A. (2004). The Exile. New York: Tom Doherty & Associates LLC.
619
years ago, an 8mm film was taken at a birthday party - the birthday party of Paul - who was murdered when retrieving a soccer ball from the edge of the field. The film includes a picture of the killer's face. Kitner, watching the film, demands the film and knife used to kill his son be hidden until his own death, and at that point be provided to the police. After this engaging and auspicious prologue, we follow Raymond: an assassin with an agenda that crosses countries and railroad lines. Raymond is working to kill a group of people - and it takes us a while to figure out who and why - but as we are pulled into this trail of secrets, lies and intrigue, we realize it is but the tip of the iceberg. The truth behind an old, unsolved murder has stirred up a current game of international espionage, and the players must play it. Folsom knows how to write, and he engages the reader from page 1, right through to his very stunning conclusion!
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Gear, K. O. and Gear, M. W. (1999). The Visitant. New York: Tor Bok by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
512
This is not YA fiction! And not especially well-written. While the story is good, and I like how the book moves between a present-day archeological dig and centuries old tribe seeking the Kava of the First People, the characters are not well drawn enough early on, and it takes a lot of work to remember who was who when you are returned to a different time frame. A nice trick was the timing: the find of an archeological piece tended to fit nicely with the piece of the story from the past that laid it there. A serial killer, long dead, a tribe torn apart with fear, and a present day battle against customs, laws, and regulations should make this book fantastic - it was just okay.
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Kellerman, J. (2004). A Cold Heart. New York: A Ballantine Book published by The Random House Publishing Group.
413
It all begins with a seemingly random stabbing of Baby Boy Lee in the alley behind a blues bar where he is playing that night. Baby Boy was just about to get his 'big break' and make it into the big-time. Alex Delaware's skills as a psychologist and police consultant are put to the test as he, Milo and Detective Petra track what at first appear to be unrelated murders. The perversion and psychosis run deep and Kellerman takes us once again into the twisted trails of murder in Hollywood.
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Scottoline, L. (1996). Running From the Law. New York: Harper Torch.
426
She's hot. She's smart. She knows how to play to win. Morrone plays poker and courtrooms with the same straight face - ready to bluff or be called. It gets a little close to home this time when her client (a judge, her boyfriend's father) is in the hot seat.
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The Last Samarai.
dvd
I held off on watching this movie, mostly because I thought it would be a poorly done epic film. I was happily surprised! The scenes were fantastic, the dialog and characters were wonderful, and the story (while a tad unbelievable and a bit too contrived) a touching look at what it is to be honorable during battle. It also addresses how real people deal with the horrors of war - and all that implies (the death of women and children, the 'slaughter' that ensues when odds are stacked in the favor of one side. From Custer's battle to the Emperor of Japan's lead council member's wish to exterminate the Samarai, this tale will keep you entertained and engaged.
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Golden, A. (1997). Memoirs of a Geisha. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
434
I really enjoyed this book - and it's not one I would have typically read! I don’t like reading 'drama' or 'true to life' type stuff, mostly because we live enough of it every day! I did, however, enjoy hearing about Chiyo's life growing up - in a fishing village, and later, as an apprentice Geisha in Gion. While this book is fiction, a lot of it is based on the lives of Geisha in Japan, and the lyrical, earthy voice of the narrator (Chiyo, now Sayuri) is captivating. The struggles and hardships of growing up, the glimpse into a culture so foreign to my own, is fantastic.
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References for Students - December. (n.d.). retrieved Dec. 11, 2004, from Gale*Thomson Free Resources Web site: http://www.galegroup.com/free_resources/reference/bandd/index.htm.
web
As much as I wanted to review this - I was unable to get the search string to return any results! I either got zero results (when searching web/all years) or handling javascript errors when searching anything print/cd. Sorry!
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Huegel, K. (2003). GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens. New York: Free Spirit Publishing.
256
This book is a must-have for any Library shelf that serves teens. It is written in a style appealing to teens and includes short, one or two page summaries of ways to cope with the many issues teens face when questioning their sexuality. It also provides excellent, current resources for teens, from crisis lines to 'safe' (moderated) chat sites. I especially enjoyed the section dealing with 'coming out' to parents and family. It provided experiences from other teens who have (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and also possible responses parents might have when a teen tells them he/she is gay. In addition, it listed possible, respectful ways to respond to less-than-accepting parents. A fantastic compilation of stories, insights, and resources for teens.
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The world factbook. (2004). retrieved Dec. 11, 2004, from The World Factbook 2004 Web site: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/.
web
This site is used on a regular basis by our tenth graders. It contains the most current, public-access information on countries around the world. We have a 'benchmark project' where 10th grade students recreate a UN assembly. In teams, the dig into their country's history, current political and economic structure, and vote as their country would during the mock UN. This site is the MOST used resource for that project. While we maintain a print collection of books and countries, it's impossible to stay current with all of them all of the time. We use this site and the Statesman's Yearbook (updated every two years for our library - a $450 book!) as the base source for the UN project.
The site itself is easy to navigate and students are drawn to the 'black' background and 'tech' graphics and layout of the site.
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Barden, C. (2004). Lesbian and Gay Youths at Risk: Providers must be more open-minded about sexual orientation. American Journal of Nursing, 104(10), 13- . Retrieved Nov 26, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
Connie Barden, President of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, makes the case that providers must be more open - and open-minded - about sexual orientation. After a homophobic comment from a colleague who respected her but did not know she was gay, she bagan Project YES (Youth Empowerment and Support). While the article references medical care providers, it is clear she intends that all providers of youth services take her message to heart because "young people are especially vulnerable."
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Books, Multimedia & Websites: Grades 9-12. (2004). School Library Journal, 1(3), 57-68. Retrieved Nov 13, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
This listing of print/media resources for young adults is invaluable. It includes the 2003 edition of Kelly Huegel's GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens; and the webiste: www.teenadviceonline.org. Both of these items are invaluable and necessary for any library serving young adults.
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Clark, D. (2003). Using Personal Passion to Push the Profession. Illinois Library Reporter, 21(5), 6-9. Retrieved Nov 12, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
Rob Ridinger, after realizing the danger of destruction to countless back issues of a Gay Life newspaper at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb), embarked on a project to microfiche the papers and ensure their survival. He recommends that on any venture you "start small...change occurs slowly." He sees libraries as a place for people to come and "find out what's unique about their community and the world around them." There are always at least two sides to every issue, and Czarnecki, a young adult services librarian in Illinois, "deals with potentially controversial issues by making sure all sides of the issue are represented." Sage advice in any field.
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Jones, J. (2004). Beyond the Straight and Narrow [Gay Teen Support]. School Library Journal, 50(5), 45-47. Retrieved Nov 12, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
An excellent brief reminder about how to support gay teens services in the library. "It isn't about agreeing with their life-style, but rather helping them reach their potential." The most thought-provoking element was the statist that gay teens are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts.
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Kan, K. (2003). On the Edge. Voice of Youth Advocates, 26(50), 386-387. Retrieved Nov 16, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
The article reviews a number of titles well, from Manga's Basara, by Yuni Tamura, to issues 154 and 155 of Brother's Keeper (two issues of a comic about the Green Lantern that deal with homosexuality). Also reviewed is Johnny Jihad by Ryan Inzana, a fiction story taken right out of the headlines of Johhny Walker Lindh. Whether dealing with homosexuality, or finding faith in a political world, these books should be on the shelves of any library serving teens.
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Levine, A. (2002). Providing Information on Sexuality: Librarians can Help Youth Become Sexually Healthy Adults. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 15(2), 45-48. Retrieved Nov 13, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
This article provides statistics that demand the inclusion of accurate sexuality information and resources (both liberal and conservative) for teens exploring their sexuality. It provides questions to consider and numerous websites to explore, as librarians establish a safe, approachable setting where teens can get information about sexuality. The organization: SIECUS, can be found at www.siecus.org.
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Levithan, D. (2004). Supporting Gay Teen Literature. School Library Journal, 50(10), 44-45. Retrieved Nov 26, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
The author's strongest comment: "you are the gatekeepers of representation. It's not just literature at stake: it's lives." This is supported throughout the rest of the article as he claims that "being gay is not an issue, it's an identity." Teens read books to find themselves in the pages - and carrying LGBT materials in a library is a statement of support that must be made.
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Linville, D. (2004). Beyond Picket Fences: What Gay/Queer/LGBTQ Teens Want from the Library. Voice of Youth Advocates, 27(3), 183-186. Retrieved Nov 26, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
An excellent article based on a recent survey about what GLBT teens want to find when they enter a library. Among the recommended titles are Ruth Bull's Changing Bodies, Changing Lives, and the 2003 edition of Kuegel's GLBTQ: A Reference for Queer and Questioning Teens. The author provides the questions asked in the survey and the myriad of responses teens had to it. Creating a safe haven, plenty of resources, and a non-demeaning attitude when checking out gay fiction all play an important part in ensuring a safe place for teens to go when questioning their sexuality.
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Pavao, K. (2003). Out of the Closet. Publishers Weekly, 250(48), 23-25. Retrieved Nov 13, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
An excellent review of gay fiction and how it's changed (for the better) over time. Prior to 1982, most gay fiction had devastating and deadly outcomes for its characters. Since Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden in 1982, a trend of positive and inspiring consequences for gay characters has become the norm. More books now include peripheral characters that are gay - another positive trend. It is a trend Alex Sanchez (Rainboy Boys, Rainbow High), is glad to see. The next step? Making gay fiction available and accessible to middle schoolers.
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Sullivan, E. (2004). Going All the Way: First Time Sexual Experiences of Teens in Fiction. Voice of Youth Advocates, 26(6), 461-463. Retrieved Nov 26, 2004, from Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database.
mag
A review of literature over time depicting first time sexual experiences. The change from dire consequences to no negative results as characters explore their sexuality is encouraging. This trend continues with books by Dan Leviathan (Boy Meets Boy) and the upcoming Doing It by Melvin Burgess.