Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Catherine- a 12 year old girl just wants a normal life. This is challenging with a brother with autism. Catherine has been give a great deal of responsibility in dealing with her brother, but like most teenagers, she has trouble with embarrassing situations. Then, one summer, Catherine meets 2 new friends- both who are very different. She really struggles to discover what being normal is and how to deal with things that are not normal. This would be a great read aloud to a Junior or Intermediate class, especially if there is an autistic child in the class.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book was recommend to me by a friend- Marnie- who read this book to her son and thought I would love it- she was right!
Imgaine America in the future- after a time when the citizens have tried to overthrow the government- and lost. America is now made up of 12 districts- each district can only survive on their own natural resources. In order to keep the citizens in their place, the government has created "The Hunger Games"- a realty show gone bad. Each year, each district must send a boy and girl between the ages of 12-18 to the Hunger Games. A fight to the death- where only 1 person can win and where the government can show their power over the people. Katniss- a young girl who is responsible for feeding her small family is selected from her district. Katniss knows she doesn't have the strength or smarts to win and feels it is only a matter of time before she dies in these games. What follows is an exciting adventure that we can only hope never appears on our TV. Coming in September is the sequel: Catching Fire and the film rights have just been purchased to make this book into a movie.

Black and White by Eric Walters

I LOVE Eric Walters books. I don't think I have ever not liked one he has written and this one is no exception! This story is about a boy and girl in grade 8 who are so similar it is scary. They don't see anything wrong with hanging out together. The only problem with this is that other people don't like the fact that Thomas is white and Denyse is black. It is interesting watching the mature way these grade 8 kids handle this pressure. It is a nice simple look at the prejudice that is still happening today. It is definitely going in my 'civil rights' box.

Poison Ivy by Amy Goldburg Koss

It is a typical high school- 3 Girls have picked on Ivy for years. When their high school civics teacher learns of this- she decides to put the girls on trial. The mock court is held in class with the judge, jury and lawyers all being played by the students in the class. Some are willing participants and some find the whole thing overwhelming. Suddenly, the trial takes on its' own life. This is a great concept for a book- bullying, teachers, students and parents role in bullying situations- however, I was very disappointed in the ending.