Author Archive

Battle of the Books Grades 6+

June 18, 2019

 

Battle of the Books

The 57 Bus

June 11, 2019

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**This book happens to be one of the books featured in the Battle of the Books competition this year. If you read it or if this book sounds interesting to you, please recommend it to your tweens/teens and sign them up for the event!**

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater, is exactly the type of book that I love – and that we all continuously need to read. You may have heard news headlines in the past few years discussing this tragic event and formed your own opinions, but Slater urges you to look closer:

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

I am passionate about prison reform – especially within the Juvenile system. Reading this book broke my heart but also challenged my mind to think beyond good and bad. Slater’s writing should appeal to Teens and adults alike. The chapters are short and the information is interesting but not overwhelming. She does an amazing job at revealing information slowly and pacing the story so that you see the point that she is trying to make about the justice system and how it fails our youth.

The Missing Season

June 4, 2019

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The Missing Season is Gillian French’s third YA novel that she has written (and I’ve read them all!). She is great at writing mystery/thrillers with likable characters. She mixes danger with fun and beautiful language.

This newest one is about Clara, who moves to a on-the-downturn town called Pender. With the closing of the paper mill, Pender is a town in despair. But Pender also has another dark side that existed before the closing of the mill – the legend of the Mumbler. Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the Pender kids know what is really behind it: the horrific monster out in the marshes they have named the Mumbler.

That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town: Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing; spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war; and magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist. Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender, lurking in the shadows, waiting to bring the stories to life.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. My one gripe? When we finally get to the real story of the infamous Mumbler, the story is wrapped up in SIX PAGES. An entire book of build-up with….six pages?

In any case, it is worth a read – its juicy!

Dear Fahrenheit 451

May 26, 2019

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I just finished this adorable book that will appeal to Librarians and book-lovers alike. In Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks, author Annie Spence pens a letter to each book she weeds from her Library collection – 50 Shades of Grey, Matilda, The Virgin Suicides – with admiration in some cases and snark in others that pays homage to each book some loved – some forgotten.

Any avid reader would appreciate her humor and nostalgia – give it a try!

Surviving the City

May 21, 2019

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Surviving the City, besides being a beautiful graphic novel and story, is a good reminder of a lesser known issue that plagues women in the United States.

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut is a story about Miikwan and Dez who are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

Native American women are among the most marginalized populations in the US. They face a far greater risk of facing racial or gender-based violence, being murdered, or going missing. If you are interested in this topic, or are uninformed visit the NWAC website – the statistics are chilling.


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