Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts
So, this novel is a psychological thriller in which a teen girl appears to be possessed very much like the girl in the exorcist movie and so her family, because the father has been out of work for over a year, and for other reasons, decides to be on a reality tv show based on the girl's possession/psychological problems, which is to culminate in the exorcism of her "demons".  The story is told by Merry, the younger sister of the possessed teen, Marjorie, in a series of interviews and blog entries given 15 years later.  Merry had been 8 years old at the time of the incident and we see the whole thing through both her 8 year old point of view and her older self's point of view.  The story is captivating and contains plot twists and surprises.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wunderkids: (Part 1: Wildwood Academy) by Jacqueline Silvester

Wunderkids: (Part 1: Wildwood Academy)
This is a captivating new YA book.  Just when fifteen year old Nikka's mom is struggling financially, Nikka is accepted into a prestigious boarding school that she has never heard of.  She is an artist, but the school also includes musicians, math whizzes and other talented teens.  Nikka makes friends with several students and they realize that there are things about the boarding school that are not right.  Can they solve the mystery and survive?  This is the first book in a series and I look forward to the next book.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Truthers by Geoffrey Girard

Truthers
When Katie's drug addict father is put into a mental institute after ranting about 9/11 conspiracies, threatening Vice President Dick Cheney and beating up a co-worker, Katie begins to research the 9/11 conspiracies in order to help get her father out of the mental institute.  She is aided by a 17 year old boy genius who she meets at the law library where she is doing research.  The more she learns about the Truthers, the conspiracy theorists, the more plausible some of their theories sound.  Katie, however, is in danger and is not sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.  I found it interesting that the book ties the belief in conspiracy theories in with PTSD.  The story is captivating and intriguing.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales by Emily Jenkins

Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales
This lovely book retells 7 classic fairy tales in a slightly quirkier way than before.  The stories included are: Snow White, The Frog Prince, Three Wishes, Toads and Pearls, Red Riding Hood, The Three Great Noodles, and Hansel And Gretel.  I think that children in 2nd through 6th grade will enjoy reading the stories!

The Bookshop At Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry

The Bookshop at Water's End
This summer beach read book is told mainly by three of the characters: Bonny, an ER doctor who made a tragic error at work and who has decided to divorce her husband; Piper, her 19 year old daughter who has been getting into trouble in college; and Lainey, Bonny's best friend since they spent childhood summers together at in a beach town.  They go to stay at a house that was left to Bonny and work through problems from their past and present.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo

Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship
This is a fascinating memoir told by Michelle, who taught middle school English in a school for kids who had been kicked out of the regular schools for various reasons.  Michelle learned how to connect with her students through literature though not the way she had originally thought she would.  She went on to law school in order to better make a difference in the world and learned that one of her former students, Patrick, was in jail for murder.  She visited him in jail and taught him there as well.  The story highlights the poverty that still exists in the deep south and the way that black people are treated there and what their lives are like.  She sees how just a little bit of care and effort on her part brought out Patrick's intelligence and helped him to grow and see the world differently.  I think the book is eye opening and I highly recommend it.

Growin Up White (Paperback) by Dwight Ritter

Growin Up White
This book reads like a memoir told by Rick, the son of a white doctor growing up in the 1950s during the civil rights era.  Georgey, the family's black housekeeper, takes Rick to her neighborhood where he makes friends with the children there.  As a result, Rick lives in two worlds, the white, racist world of his high school and the black neighborhood where his best friend lives.  We see through his eyes the difference in the two cultures and the behind the scenes fight to bring them together in equality.  The story is well told and intriguing.