Thursday, December 04, 2008

Guest blogger -- Maggie

This book Prom, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is about a high school senior girl named Ashley Hannigan. Ashley is your normal slacker "I dont want to do anything except for hang out with my boyfriend", my life stinks kind of girl. At first. Her best friend Natalie, "Nat" is on the prom committe and is totally commited! But when the prom committe's advisor is arrested for stealing the money for the prom, the prom is cancelled. Now Nat is totally depressed and she doesn't want to do anything except for brainstorm ways for them to get the prom back on. But somehow Ashley gets sucked into the plan and now she is Nat's "assistant." Then Nat breaks her leg because she tripped down the stairs in new high-healed shoes. So Ashley is now the one and charge and does not know how she is going to pull this off! Read Prom today and I promise you that it will be a great book!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book is intense ....... and it leaves you waiting for the sequel!

Katniss, the main character lives in District 12. She is one of 2 tributes selected from her district to attend the yearly "hunger games". The games are held in the capital city, Panem. Although the setting is somewhat futuristic, it reminded me of the time of the ancient Romans. Tributes from all the districts fight in the games like the gladiators did in Rome. The fight is to the death!

Because Katniss comes from a poorer district and family, she has always had to supplement the family's food supply with animals she has trapped or shot. Her skill with a bow and arrow do afford her an advantage in the games. Still.....I found it hard to accept that a society would sacrafice its own members --- and young adults no less!

Will Katniss and Peeta, the other tribute from District 12 survive? What will become of their budding romance? Will it help or hinder the brutality of the games? You have to read the book to believe all that happens!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Firestorm by David Klass is the first book in the Caretaker Trilogy. If you want to read a sci-fi thriller, this is it!!

Until the night that Jack broke the school's rushing record everything was normal. Until later that evening at the diner, everything was normal. Until the time, even later when Jack's dad tells him he is not his father, everything was normal. Why now does Jack's father call him the "beacon of hope"? Why is Jack pursued by strange creatures? What is shooting lasers at him? Jack finds out he was born 1000 years into the future. His birth father has sent him back in time with caretakers, to the present day, so that he can find "firestorm". With any luck, firestorm will save the earth.

According to Wikipedia, a screenplay for the movie version is being developed. I can't wait to start the second book, Whirlwind.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Redheaded Princess

Ann Rinaldi is a great historical fiction writer. I haven't sat down to read much historical lately, but when I started this book I couldn't put it down.

The story starts in 1542. Elizabeth is the 9-year-old second daughter of King Henry VIII. Her mother was Anne Boleyn.....I say "was" because the King had his wife beheaded. Ever since she was 3 years old Elizabeth has feared death. She can't trust anyone except her nanny. Her father has removed her from succession - this means she can never be queen. But....never say never. Elizabeth wants to someday be queen. Read this book and see if it happens!!

First Shot

This "shot" by Walter Sorrells isn't a basketball shot, rather a gun shot. David Crandall becomes convinced his father, the very stern headmaster at his exclusive private school, killed his mother. After 3 years the crime remains unsolved. The police show up to question dad again. Later that evening David follows his father as he buries a mysterious, sheet-wrapped object. Is it the rifle that killed his mother? Despite their rocky relationship David hates to believe his father would be capable of violence. Read this very exciting mystery to see who is charged with the crime.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Margaret Peterson Haddix is probably best known as the author of the Shadow Children series. Wait until you read Found, the start of a new series.

A plane shows up, unannounced, at the airport terminal. All attempts to contact the pilot and the flight attendants go unanswered. Finally the ground crew opens the gate to the plane and goes on board. No one is in the cockpit. It is oddly, very silent..... no sounds of passengers gathering luggage and belongings.

Angela looks around the plane and hears some wimpering sounds. Her gaze lowers to the 36 seats on the plane. Each one is filled --- with a baby!!!!

How did the mystery plane get there? Where are the babies from? You don't get all the answers in the start to this new series. Get your name on the waiting list. It will also be at the book fair in October!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We have it!!!!

As promised, we now have The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer. YEAH!!!! This is the companion volume to Life As We Knew It.

Remember --- an asteroid hits the moon --- disaster and chaos ensue. Read this book to see how people in New York City survive.

The Golden Rat

I found this book, The Golden Rat, on the new book shelves at Traeger. The reason I noticed it was because it is by Don Wulffson, the same author who wrote Soldier X (another really good WWII book!).

Baoliu's stepmother is murdered. Baoliu was found, covered in blood, next to her body. Despite his pleas that he is innocent, he is the number one suspect. Baoliu is put in jail and condemmed to die. In 12th century China, the setting for this book, death comes by beheading. He has been rejected and disowned by his wealthy family. Read the book and find out why his father pays a "ka-di" to have an innocent man beheaded in Baoliu's place.

Warning: The beheading scene is a little gruesome.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

Mena hopes that her first day of high school - a day she has been looking forward to forever - would at least turn out slightly better than eating live bugs. That is not to be the case.

What did Mena do to turn her parents, her church, and her former friends from her? No one will talk to her, except her new, rather quirky science lab partner, Casey. Read the book to find out the answer. Mena stands by her decision that she did the right thing.

There is further drama when Mena's science class begins a study of evolution. Evolution versus intelligent design has divided the science class and made it more of a battleground. Find this book on the Young Adult shelf.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

City of Ember

One of my most favorite books, City of Ember, is coming out as a movie. Check out the trailer at Yahoo Movies.

The Noah Confessions

Lynnie goes to a private school. It is customary for all students to get a car for their 16th birthday. Lynnie can't wait. On the morning of her birthday she gets up early, eagerly anticipating the "gift" that will be hers. She is sorely disappointed. Her father gives her a tarnished silver bracelet that used to belong to her mother. Mom died in a car accident when Lynnie was in 3rd grade. Hence - no car.

After school Lynnie receives one more present -- another legacy from her mother. It is a letter mom wrote when she was in high school, to a boy named Noah. Who was the mysterious Noah? Mom has made the craziest confession to him in the letter --- that she is a criminal and should be thrown in jail! Read the book to discover family secrets that Lynnie never expected both her mother and father were capable of keeping.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Reading

Now that the 4th of July is past, I start reading young adult books. I had started First Daughter; Extreme American Makeover by Mitali Perkins in April, when all the new books came in. Finally, I got to finish it. Have you been following the Presidential candidates? If you have, you might enjoy reading this book.
Sameera Righton, aka " Sammy" or "Sparrow" -- is the main character. Her father is the Republican candidate for President. Her parents adopted her from an orphanage in Pakistan when she was 3 years old. It is summer vacation from her boarding school in Europe and she is joining her family back in the states. Sparrow, as she is know to her family and friends, is completely NOT READY for all the hoopla around her father's campaign.
Sparrow starts to lose who she really is. The campaign staff give her a makeover and new clothes. The media want to remake her to be more "American-looking". She wants to spend the summer on her grandparent's farm in Ohio. Life as the daughter of a Presidental candidate is not easy. Sparrow does stay true to herself and her beliefs. She starts her own blog which eventually takes over the "made-up" blog that the staff writes.
Who will this book appeal to? Probably more girls than boys.....but everyone will find it interesting how Sameera lives with the media right outside her door. Does her father win the election? You'll have to read the book and see!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New books!!!

Lots and Lots of new books have been arriving! Stop in and check one out. Lucky Books continue through the month of April.

Quid pro quo

This latin phrase is actually the title of a new mystery by Vicki Grant. When translated it means, "what for what". Quid pro quo is a legal term that means an even exchange between two people. So............what does that have to do with the book?
Cyril Floyd MacIntyre is 14 years old. (He explains his "odd" name in Chapter 2.) The first line of the book is, "I started going to law school when I was ten years old." This was only because his mom, Andy, didn't have any money to pay a babysitter. Andy does become a lawyer and works for Varma and Associates. Shortly after taking on her first case, Andy disappears! Cyril knows she has been kidnapped. Because of a complicated set of circumstances, he is afraid to go to the police. (Andy has a "colorful" history. Read the book and you will understand.) What clues does Cyril use to try and find his mom? Believe it or not, he finds something in his freezer! Does Cyril find his mom? Read the book and find out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

So B. It

So B. It by Sarah Weeks isn't a new book. It was published in 2004. For whatever reason, it was one of those books that I never got around to reading. When I finally started it last Thursday, I could not stop!

Heidi is 12 and lives with her developmentally disabled mom, So B. It. Unusual name? Yes, but mom only has 23 words in her vocabulary. Consequently, Heidi doesn't know anything about her family history, including who her father is. The next-door neighbor, Bernie, has agoraphobia, she never goes outside. This is the environment that surrounds Heidi.

One day, while cleaning closets, Heidi finds an old camera. She has the film developed and finds pictures of her mother as a teenager. Finally, a clue to her past! Heidi must travel across country - from Nevada to New York - on a bus, alone, to Hilltop Home for the Disabled. Will she find the link to the past that she is desperately looking for? Will she find the meaning of the one word, soof, that her mother repeats? Read the book and find out.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

If you like magic, read The Swan Maiden!

Doucette has two older sisters who are both swan maidens. They have magical powers that come from their swan skins, one black and one white. When they put their swan skins on, they change into swans. Doucette never understood why she didn’t get to be a sorceress like her sisters. One day, she was helping the maid change the sheets on her parents’ bed, and a grey tipped swan skin fell out from under the mattress. Her parents had been hiding it from her; her swan skin, her birthright!
Her parents wanted Doucette to marry someone rich and worthy of a good wife. Doucette wanted to marry for love, and having the swan skin could let her do that. She fell in love with a Shepard, and he asked for her hand in marriage. Her parents would only let her marry him if he could complete three impossible tasks. The problem is that he needs to complete the tasks on his own, without the help of her magic. Will Doucette be able to marry her Shepard, or will she be stuck with someone her parents set her up with? Follow this magical fairy tale into a world of transformations and deception to find out.

Another Review by Miss Weaver!

This book is a wonderful story about an eighth grade girl named Patrice, who is growing up in the inner city in Chicago. She does not live with her parents, because she never knew her dad, and her mom is in jail. She lives with her aunt, cousins, and older sister.

The main story is that of Patrice trying to overcome many obstacles when applying to get into a better school. She needs her mother’s signature on a paper, but that means traveling over an hour by bus to get to the jail.

The underlying story is about a boy in her grade, Monty. He is the only person who stands up for her when other people tease her. Their friendship seems to bloom into something more when Patrice starts tutoring his little brother. Even though Patrice has it tough, she does very well in school and wants something more for herself. This is an inspiring story about Patrice and how she tries to overcome the odds and have a better life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hi Tipler Middle School readers! I am Miss Weaver, the student teacher in the Media Center. I have just finished the book Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. It starts out by telling us that kira-kira is Katie's first word, which means glittering. This is the story of Katie Takeshima, her family, and her life growing up in Georgia as a Japanese American. It is interesting because they moved from a predominanty Japanese town in Idaho to the South. Her mom and dad work all hours of the day and night at the chicken farms and they struggle just to get by. They eat rice and sardines every day, and Katie is bored of it. She has a big sister named Lynn and a little brother named Sammy. Her sister is always trying to get her to do her homework and get better grades in school. The mood changes when Lynn gets sick, and it is hard for her to operate on a daily basis. They keep saying that she has anemia, but anemia is not that serious of an illness. The thing that the family needs to remember is that there can still be things that are kira-kira in their lives.

The siblings decide that it would be fun to go on a picnic one day, and they go through the woods to find a good spot. Sammy went off on his own while Lynn and Katie were talking. The sisters heard a loud scream which is not typical for Sammy, because he is a very calm child. As the girls ran to see if he was alright, they could tell right away that it was bad. Sammy got his leg caught in a bear trap. After some thought and pulling, they released the trap, but Sammy was in bad shape. Lynn and Katie decided that it would be best to try to carry him in a blanket. The problem is that Lynn was too weak and sick to carry him, and Katie was too small to carry him herself. Lynn told her to run to find help and she would stay with Sammy. It was starting to get cold, and Katie is worried, because she is not good with directions. What will happen to Lynn, Sammy, and Katie? Read Kira-Kira to find out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Taken, by Edward Bloor, is one of our new books. The story is set in the near (?) future.....2036, after the World Credit Crash. I compared this to the Stock Market Crash of 1929. People either are rich or poor, there does not appear to be anything in-between.

Charity is the main character and she has been kidnapped! In the future kidnapping is quite common. Wealthy families live in gated, protected communities to try and keep their children safe. Armed guards are hired help. Going to school means sitting in front of a "vidscreen" so your class can be brought in by satellite.

The first two lines in the book are, "Once you've been taken, you usually have twenty-four hours left to live. By my reckoning, that meant I had about twelve hours remaining." That was all I needed to start reading!

Charity wakes up and realizes that she has been kidnapped....previously it was something that always happened to "someone else". Her father must now empty his supply of money from their home safe to pay the ransom for Charity. Something goes terribly the book and find out!