Friday, August 31, 2007

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig and Abigail Marble - ESSENTIAL

Ludwig, Trudy My Secret Bully PICTURE BOOK illustrations by Abigail Marble. Tricycle Press, 2005.


Monica and Katie have been best friends since kindergarten, but Katie's behavior has changed lately and her whispery attacks are destroying Monica's self-esteem. Finally, a heart-to-heart with her mother gives Monica the tools and strength to stand up for herself.

Excellent material for a serious discussion about bullying in a Teacher Advisory.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chasing Yesterday: Awakening by Robin Wasserman - ESSENTIAL

Wasserman, Robin Chasing Yesterday: Awakening, 224 p. Scholastic, 2007. 


A girl was discovered at the edge of a disaster, unconscious and injured. Her memory gone, she names herself JD and struggles to find her way in the Juvenile Home. Just as she finds a space and a friend, her mother appears and whisks her back to her ideal suburban life. But - is all as it seems? 

Raw and powerful, rushing from scene to scene without giving you a chance to catch your breathe - PERFECT. And it will leave you begging for more! 


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker - ADVISABLE

Crocker, Nancy Billie Standish Was Here, 281 p. Simon and Schuster


During a town crisis, Billie is befriended by the old lady across the street - one of the few people left in town. Miss Lydia becomes her best friend and her mother figure, as Billie's own mother is emotionally distant. Then Miss Lydia's own degenerate son wounds Billie in the worst way possible and the two draw together to keep the secret and weather the pain. 

The story follows Billie from 6th grade to high school graduation and it is nearly impossible to describe a few pithy sentences as it winds its way through the tapestry of grief. It is a quiet book with just a handful of swear words that seem so useless, especially because they diminish the possible audience. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell - ADVISABLE

Cornwell, Autumn Carpe Diem, 368 p. Feiwel. 


Vassar Spore is Ivy League material - focused, overacheiving with a 5.3 GPA. Her entire summer is planned around maximizing her potential. Then her wayward grandmother blackmails her parents into sending Vassar to travel SouthEast Asia with her for the entire summer. Vassar didn't even know her parents were blackmailable! What is this dark secret? How will Vassar survive around all of those germs?? 

Cornwell's voice is extremely funny and Vassar is so lost in this unsanitized world. This novel is a joy to read.