Saturday, January 26, 2013

December and January Reads

Here's what I've been reading:

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Brrows

Loved it! This has been on my list for a long time, and I'm glad I finally read it.  A writer looking for a new book topic learns about Guernsey, which is an island in the English Channel.  She decides to write about the German occupation of Guernsey during World War II.  The story takes place just after the end of the war.  The characters are fun, the setting is interesting, and the format is different.  The story is told in letters between the characters.

I have a multi-type advisory post planned around this post - stay tuned!

The Cloud Chamber
by Joyce Maynard

Tough times have fallen on the Chance family.  Nate Chance's father is in the hospital, and rumors fly around town about the cause.  Nate becomes an outcast at school.  He and another unpopular girl, Naomi, pair up for the science fair.  If they can just earn first place with their cloud chamber project, they'll get to go to the state science fair competition, which is taking place near the hospital where Nate's dad was taken.  This is a heartwarming story of kids trying to understand grown-up situations while dealing with the cruelty of other kids at the same time.

Recommended to mature upper-elementary students and tweens, adults who grew up in small towns in the 1960s, outcasts, bullies, science buffs, historians, and dreamers (or children of dreamers!)

A Walk Across the Sun
by Corban Addison

Two girls are stolen into sex slavery in India on the very same day as a giant tsunami stole their family and their home from them.  A non-profit works to find them (and other girls like them).  I was very moved by this book. It would make a great movie, and the message would reach more people that way.

Read alikes: Sold by Patricia McCormick, Hell Gate by Linda Fairstein, and Taken by Robert Crais.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky

This is a coming-of-age story about Charlie, a freshman in high school.  He is awkward and shy - a wallflower in every sense.  He experiences first dates, first kisses, recreational drugs, sibling rivalry, and his world has an ongoing soundtrack with music for every mood and occasion.  There's more to Charlie than meets the eye, and his story reveals a history he has buried deep.  This is another book I've had on my list for a long time, and finally listened to the audio version.

Read alikes: Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Paper Towns by John Green, and How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Paper Towns
by John Green

I'll be honest, this was not my favorite John Green book.  It was good, but not great.  Quentin and Margo were childhood friends, but she became popular and he...didn't.  They drifted apart.  She reappears in his life one night near the end of high school and gets him to join her in a night of revenge on her "friends" for various reasons.  The next morning, Margo is nowhere to be found.  Days later, it is clear that she has disappeared. Quentin finds clues she left for him, and follows them to try to find her.

Read alikes: Going Bovine by Libba Bray, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and The Miles Between by Mary Pearson

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