John Green's first novel is a treasure. Set in an Alabama boarding school, the story's main character is Miles, a junior from Florida in his first year at Culver Creek. In Florida, Miles did not have any friends and looks to reinvent himself at Culver Creek.
Wandering Son is a masterfully handled manga about two fifth grade friends, a boy and a girl, who wish they were a girl and a boy, respectively.Shuichi is naturally quiet and shy, and keeps his desire to be a girl private, restricted to only a few very close friends, including Takatsuki, who wants to be a boy.The two struggle through their difficulties together, like when boys at school point out Takatsuki’s budding femininity.The friends encourage eac
VERSUS - The APL Teen book review where two books on a related theme go head to head and only one comes out a winner. The winner will be decided by the author’s subjective and highly biased criteria i.e. her opinion.
November’s VERSUS stars two audio books that focus on the topic of Greek myths - Of Poseidon by Anna Banks and Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan. If you can already spot the winner then you’re ahead of the game!
Drawing Autism showcases the artistic talents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder while giving perspective on how these artists relate to the world around them. Temple Grandin has written the forward which is a perfect introduction and sets the tone for the rest of the book. Author Jill Mullin, a behavior analyst with a clinical background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), divided the selected works into themes. Her goal was to provide an overview of the autism spectrum while celebrating the individuality of each person. Artists selected for the b
My interest in street art has led me to view numerous pictures on the internet. Many are wonders of creativity and determination—from murals on a building to 3D art made from objects already in place. Street art can have an important message or be a small scale drawing, there just to make you smile.
One of my favorite types of street art is chalk art. While temporary, in the hand of a master artist they can be incredibly detailed and convincing. Chalk art combines art, creativity, perspective, and even performance.
In 1950s New Orleans, Josie Moraine dreams of escaping the Big Easy and attending Smith College in Massachusetts. Unfortunately for her, this is an especially difficult task. Josie is the daughter of a French Quarter prostitute with a penchant for trouble. Josie's mother, Louise, fancies herself to be a gangster's moll and frequently gets Josie entangled in her mistakes.
August (Auggie) Pullman is different from other ten year old kids. Born with a rare congenital condition resulting in startling facial deformities, he has a not so ordinary face that invites curiosity and criticism, as well as compassion. He leaves the bubble of his loving and safe home-schooled environment to attend fifth grade at Beecher Prep in New York City. For one year, readers follow Auggie as he stumbles through the minefields of adolescence: vulnerable in a school culture where being different is an oddity not
This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner in Biography was also the best book I’ve listened to in 2013. The Black Count by Tom Reiss is both informative and entertaining. Read by Paul Michael, an actor who gave the story even more depth with his expressive style and excellent pronunciation, this book is a step above the average biography. I was enthralled not only by the amazing adventures of the man who was the inspiration for the Count of Monte Cristo but by the writing style of the author.
"Izabela, Aniela, Alicia, Eugenia, Stefania, Rozalia, Pelagia, Irena, Alfreda, Apolonia, Janina, Leonarda, Czeslava, Stanislava, Vladyslava, Barbara..." and so starts the counting-out rhyme of Rose Justice, 19 year old American ATA pilot and poet, ferrying Allied fighter planes for the British during World War II.
Every once in a while a book comes along that you say to yourself when finished reading, what a story. After reading this book, I felt this way. The story is about a family that immigrates to the United States from Ireland. The family lives in New York City encountering many hardships. One night a tragedy happens, and one little girl's life changes forever. She becomes an orphan in New York City. She is put on a train with many other orphans and travels to the Midwest with having a chance to be adopted. Vivian tells her story to a gal that has been
Is your best never good enough? Do you keep trying and trying and still the people you are trying to help trash your efforts? Then you might find accidental superhero Lin fascinating as she brings her writings to life with the push of a button when she becomes the hero from her books. With flash photography as her superhero weakness, Lin a.k.a. AC makes an interesting if unsure teen champion whose cell phone uses binary code to transform her into a superhero.
Eleanor & Park are two high school misfits living in 1986, Omaha, Nebraska. Park is half-Asian, his mom is Korean and his dad American, and looks just different enough to stand out in his white bread community. Eleanor has long, frizzy red hair, is full-figured and lives in one of the saddest situations you can possibly imagine. She has recently come home to her 4 siblings, mother and no-good stepfather after having been away for over a year.
Which brother in this future dystopia is the” true son” or messiah of a society split between those who have psi (the telekinetic power to move objects with the mind) and those who have none?Who will the true son save or liberate?One brother, a 12-year-old named Taemon , discovers that his psi includes remote viewing and other gifts but he loses his psi abilities after he hears a vo
I’ve been very interested in Afghanistan since the 1980s and I eagerly devour as much non-fiction as I can on the diverse cultures, complex history and natural beauty of the country. Ellis’s My name is Parvana was created to be a realistic fiction novel based on the lives of multiple children that the author met during her time in Afghanistan. The importance of education and its positive impact on the lives of girls is readily apparent throughout the book.
I loved this book. Joyland is about characters, more than anything. Granted, there are a couple ghosts, but they are incidental characters. Since it is published by Hard Case Crime, there is a murder too, but it happened before the timeframe of the book and is peripheral until near the very end, where action takes over and we find out “whodunit”.
I love Paul. I love the black-and-white, curvy casual style in which his stories are illustrated. I would learn to read French if I were to learn that the Paul stories would no longer be translated into English. I've read Rabaliati's other semi-autobiographical stories, and have enjoyed following Paul's life in Canada from his summer job as a camp counselor to moving into his first place with his fiance in the city to his becoming a father. Rabagliati adds a new dimension to Paul's story by focusing on his in-laws, with emphasis on his wife's father, Roland.
Oh I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Celia Door, aka Celia the Dark, is just starting high school after a horrific end to 8th grade...she loses her best (and only) friend, her parents have separated and the school mean girls, Sandy & Mandy, have targeted her to be their next prey. Needless to say, Celia is NOT looking forward to 9th grade. Then she meets Drake.
I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.
In Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, a book seller takes his son Daniel to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he finds among its labyrinthine stacks a book by Julian Carax called The Shadow of the Wind. It's the best book he's ever read and he wants to learn more about the author and read more of his books, but he discovers that not much is known about the author and that copies of his books are notoriously difficult to find. Daniel isn't satisfied with this and endeavors to learn more.
This sweet, sweet book is aimed directly at people like me who like pretty much anything with fur, feathers, or four feet. Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, it was suggested to me after a co-worker --who also has a menagerie of cats (and birds) at home-- happened upon it one day while perusing the New Books display shelves.
This recipe book is separated into “Savory” and “Sweet” sections, as well as an “And More” section that incorporates popcorn into meals (I have never done anything from that last section). The very beginning of the book talks a little about popping corn, including how to make your own microwave popcorn in paper lunch bags if you don’t own a popper or don’t like to make it on the stovetop.
Wow! This book (and audio book) are absolutely phenomenal. I will start by saying, as a rule, I never enjoy books written in verse. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one - especially listening to the audio. Five different voice actors perform the role of two dozen passengers and crew, and even the Iceberg.
It is the 1950s and seventeen year old Kit Corrigan has not had an easy life. She is part of a set of triplets that were raised by their poor, Irish, immigrant father in Providence, RI. The triplets (aka The Corrigan Three) lost their mother during their birth. Kit has always had big dreams of being a performer on Broadway and after the break up of her rocky relationship with boyfriend Billy, Kit heads out to New York City with stars in her eyes. Meanwhile, Billy and Kit's brother, Jamie, enlist in the Army together and are preparing to ship off to Korea.
This psychological thriller was published in 2005, but it remains one of my favorites. Seventeen year old, Doug Hanson lacks social skills, making him a target at school. The only "perfect" relationship he has is with his next door neighbor and boyhood friend, Andy Morrow who is a popular football player.
This is a read I would highly recommend to both boys & girls. Tennyson & Bronte are teenage twins whose parents happen to be literature professors. Tennyson is not pleased that his sister has recently started dating Brewster (aka Bruiser), the boy voted "most likely to get the death penalty." Bruiser lives with his mean, alcoholic uncle and his 8 year old brother, Cody. The family is perceived as "no good" and pretty much keeps to themselves.
On the night before her fifteenth birthday, Liz gets into a heated argument with her mother that ends with Liz running away from home. Laura, the anguished and guilt-ridden mother, is left sitting in their Baton Rouge home praying for Liz's quick and safe return. To pass the time, Laura decides to write her daughter a letter about her own troubled adolescence. In doing so, she hopes to give Liz insight that she does understand what she is going through.
An airplane full of teen beauty queens, on their way to the Miss Teen Dream pageant (sponsored by The Corporation), crash lands on a remote tropical island. Many of them, of course, do not survive, but never fear...Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins (don't you love it?), is there to assume the leadership role! She promptly divides the girls into two groups. The Lost Girls trek into the jungle to check out their new surroundings, while the Sparkle Ponies stay on the beach and salvage what they can from the wrecked plane.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore mixes books and research with romance and friendship to make a fun, light story. Pop culture references make this book feel a bit like Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, but the prevalence of Google and ereaders ground the story in the present.
This is a very worthy reference text for cooks at any level. Yes, you can now “Google” white sauce, etc and get any amount of suggestions, but this book was my go to place for all things cooking before that option was available. And it still holds.
Jacob Portman loves his grandfather, who tells him fabulous stories about his childhood adventures and kids he once knew. As Jacob gets older, and his grandfather disappears on mysterious hunting trips, they start to grow apart. Jacob begins to doubt the truth of his grandfather’s stories, and asks him whether they really happened. His grandfather pulls out some faded photos of childhood friends, and they are very peculiar. After this Jacob begans to doubt the truth of the stories.
Volume 1 of Bakuman introduces Moritaka Mashiro, an 8th grade student with decent grades and a habit of drawing in his notebooks during class. His drawing talent is noticed by Akito Takagi, fellow and best student in Mashiro's class. Takagi attempts to persuade Mashiro to join him in creating manga--he'll write and Mashiro can draw. Takagi's a skilled operator and manages to get Mashiro's crush, a classmate named Miho, involved, climaxing with a humorous scene in which Mashiro ultimately agrees to Takagi's plan.
Perhaps it is the time of year, but I love reading books about trees, especially books that include awesome pictures of trees. One of my favorites is Thomas Pakenham’s” Remarkable Trees of the World”. His previous book, “Meetings With Remarkable Trees” concentrated on trees in Britain and Ireland, but this book takes him all around the world. Each featured tree is illuminated with a large picture and a page or so written about why it is included in the book. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite.
Libba Bray's The Diviners mixes mystery and supernatural horror and sets in Prohibition Era New York. The effect is excellent--if I were a wine connoisseur and this book were a wine, I'd note hints of HBO's Carnivale, Stephen King's novels, and a liberal peppering of 1920s slang. I'll hold back from getting cutesy using the slang in this review.
Okay, I'll admit it, I've never actually read J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, so I began reading this only knowing the Disney movie version of the story. This is Tiger Lily's story as told from Tinker Bell's point-of-view and it works marvelously! Folks expecting a nice, neat Disney tale are in for a rude awakening.
Captain Ivan Xav Vorpatril is a dedicated and loyal officer of the Barrayaran military. He is tall and handsome and rarely lacks female company. While his relatives may address him as “That idiot Ivan” at times, he is not stupid. He avoids controversy whenever possible and keeps a low, almost slacker, profile while efficiently analyzing top secret information. Though he appears in the previous books mostly as a sidekick to his cousin Miles (whose manic life has plenty of forward momentum, with explosions and chases--despite being crippled in utero by an poison gas at
Middle school student and troublemaker Donovan Curtis is well known for his pranks around school. Due to a big mistake and miscommunication, Donovan is transferred from his "normal" middle school to the "Academy for Scholastic Distinction" for highly gifted students. Multiple characters, including adults, take turns telling the story, and it becomes clear than Donovan doesn't belong at ASD due to his ungifted status, but could it be that the students at ASD need Donovan, as he slowly leads them to normalcy?
The short version: A science fiction and fantasy adventure featuring excellent characters, intrigue, and deceptions that will grip your attention such that you'll neglect the things you need to do in order to read more.
Another just plain fun read! If you like the Stephanie Plumb books, you'll like this series too. Diesel, one of Ranger's employees, breaks out on his own set of adventures. They are full of the same madcap mayhem we see with Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger, but these add a layer of magic and mystical powers. Lizzy is a pastry chef in Salem Massachusetts who also happens to be a "finder". Her talent is sensing special properties of inanimate objects. Lizzy and Diesel are off on a mission to find another one of a set of magical stones before Wulf or any other bad guys can get it.
The short version: The story of a break up from the very beginning of the relationship, starring authentic characters and presented in a unique format--each chapter starts with an object from a box of mementos Min collected and is giving to her ex-boyfriend, Ed. For more details, read on.