Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Nancy Garden writes this very realistic book about what it is like to deal with extreme bullying.

The story starts with a flashback. Gray is staring out the window of a juvenile detention center. The glass in the tiny window has 6 sides. Gray imagines the 6 sides of his personality: son, brother, friend, archer and drummer (he excels at archery and is a great drummer). What is the sixth side of the hexagon that describes him? Murderer!

In 8th grade Gray was suspended twice for carrying a weapon. Now his family has moved so he can make a fresh start in high school. Once again, the bullies seem to find Gray. Teachers seem to dismiss the bullying and teasing at school with the explanation that "Boys will be boys." The bullying escalates to physical violence....especially the scene in the locker room. Gray's dad is not sympathetic. Gray feels his life is out of control. Read the book and see what he does! You won't forget it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hot Zone

Ebola virus -- just the name of the disease is enough to cause panic. This book really is not for the "faint of heart".

Ebola's effects on the human and animal body are gruesome --- flesh turning to liquid, bleeding.....you get the idea.

Read this book by Richard Preston about a real outbreak in Reston, Virginia.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Book of Michael by Lesley Choyce

How's this for a first line: "Some people still think I killed her. Despite the evidence. Despite everything." (Okay...it is more of a first paragraph.)

Michael was 16 years old when he was convicted of killing his girlfriend Lisa, a girl he very much loved. He spent 6 months in prison. One day the guard told him he could "go home". The person who really killed Lisa had confessed.

How do you go home? How do you go back to your life? Back to school? Back to your family?

You'll have to read the book and see how Michael manages to put his life back together.

Hole in my Life

Many of you probably read a Jack Gantos book in elementary or middle school. Is Joey Pigza a character you know? He is one of Gantos' creations. This book though, tells a real story. It is not one of those cheerful "this is how I became an author" stories.

Jack Gantos spent time in prison. Twenty-year-old Jack tells the story of how he found himself in New York City, fresh off a boat from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, about to be arrested for smuggling 2000 lbs of hash. As a young man Jack made some poor decisions....the poorest one being that he crewed a boat loaded with drugs.

Jack served 15 months in the federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky. He is honest about his prison experience and certainly doesn't gloss over things. Prison is also the place where he first became a writer and realized his desire was to continue his education.

Try an autobiography, you might like it!

Hey Horowitz Fans!!!

The 4th book in the Gatekeepers is here. Stop in and check it out!!

Th1rteen R3asons Why

I have wanted to read this book by Jay Asher ever since it was published in 2007. Reading it this weekend, I was left with an uneasy feeling.

Hannah has committed suicide. She has mailed cassette tapes with the 13 reasons she has ended her life to 13 people. The story is told from the viewpoint of Clay, a boy who really did like Hannah, but was afraid to let her know his feelings. He is one of the 13.

Clay spends a retched night listening to Hannah's voice, visiting the locations on the tape, and trying to understand.

Why did this book make me uneasy? It really makes you think about the consequences of your actions. Think about your daily interactions with friends and family. Words, or lack of words, do indeed hurt. Clay is hurting in this book.....Hannah was hurting, yet no one saw.......

Friday, October 02, 2009

Urban Legends

Do you know what an urban legend is? Even if you don't, I bet you've heard one before.

Urban legends are modern-day folktales. Have you ever heard someone tell a story that they know happened to a "friend's boyfriend" or "my "brother's girlfriend" saw this happen to her aunt when they were on vacation. ...it is those kind of stories. I think everyone has heard the legend about alligators in the New York sewer system. Kids supposedly bought baby alligators as pets. As they grew too large to keep as pets they were flushed down the toilet. They continued to grow in the sewers until now -- they are monstrous. Is it true? No.

The library has several books containing urban legends. They are lol funny!! Read the story about the carpet layer. As it begins he has just finished laying a new carpet. When he goes outside to have a smoke he realizes that he lost his pack of cigarettes. Regretfully, he looks at the new carpet and there is a lump in the middle of the floor. It has to be the cigarettes. With no other options seemingly available, he takes a mallet and starts pounding to flatten the bump. Not more than a few minutes later the owner of the house says, "I found your cigarettes on the front porch. Now....could you help me find my baby hamster? He seems to have escaped from his cage!" Hmmm.........

Check out the urban legend books - some stories are funny, others are creepy!