Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Jonas has always been normal. He grows and learns at the same rate as the other children born in his year. He follows all the community rules. He lives peacefully with his family unit. He spends time volunteering in his community, just like all the other elevens do. But as the ceremony of twelve approaches, Jonas becomes apprehensive. He has no clue as to what job the elders will assign him to, even though he spent time volunteering in order to discover his talents and interests. When the ceremony arrives, Jonas, along with the rest of the community, is shocked. He is selected to be the next receiver of memories. From then on, through the training and memories given to him by The Giver, Jonas changes. He forms different opinions based on feelings, which are forbidden in the community – feelings such as peace, love, and pain. Jonas becomes unique in a society where sameness and comfort are the highest ideals, and therefore he does not fit in any longer. Ultimately, when he cannot bear living in the community any longer, he has to decide what to do about it.
If you are looking for a well written, science fiction, utopian book, you should read The Giver.
Reviewed by Sarah P.
Check out a trailer for the movie version of "The Giver" which is scheduled to be released in August or September. Also consider the other books in "The Giver Quartet" - Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
Ender's Game - Discussion Questions
On March 28th, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club will discuss Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Here are some of the things we will consider.
About Ender & His Family
What kind of person is Ender? What kind of person would he like to be?
Ender never loses, but he is sometimes defeated. Discuss why this is not a contradiction.
Peter and Valentine are polar opposites, but at the end of the story they work together. What do you think happens in the relationship between those two after Ender leaves for Battle School?
How does Ender make friends? How does he convince the other students to follow his leadership?
Society & Choices
All the characters in the story grapple with moral dilemmas and choices. Let's look at some of the characters (other than Ender) and their choices. What difficult moral conflicts do Ender's parents face? His brother and his sister? The military? The school staff? The students?What do you think about the actions of the adults that related to Ender and his peers?
Was it ethical for the adults to lie to and manipulate the children?
What do you think about the adults' attitudes toward the deaths and injuries suffered by the children at the Battle School?
Ever wish you had a superpower? (I think the answer is an obvious YES!) So, tie on your cape, get your super senses ready, and dive in to one of these superhero stories suggested by Walter H., one of our teen volunteers. And don't forget to let us know if you have suggestions of other great superhero books to add to this list!
Sick by Tom Leveen
At an average high school in Phoenix, Arizona, strange things are happening. When a “virus” breaks out in the area, Brian and his group of friends watch as their classmates and teachers start to turn into grotesque, flesh-eating predators with super-human strength. With their school on lockdown, surrounded by a prison-style, spiked fence and awaiting the help of the United States armed forces, Brian and a group of theater geeks must figure out how to save their other friends, who are stranded across the high school campus, without getting captured by the predators. Fast-paced, violent, and oh-so-bloody, Sick is a suspenseful, thrilling read for zombie lovers and those just looking for an adrenaline-pumping good time.
Looking for a read that tells a story both through its pictures and its text? Try one of these graphic novels suggested by Walter H., one of our library's teen volunteers:
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Jeremy Johnson Johnson lives in Never Better and he's a strange boy. There's his name of course. Well, both his parents were named Johnson. When his mother disappeared his father took to his room and has barely come out. Jeremy mostly keeps to himself and studies, guided by the ghost of Jacob Grimm who narrates Far Far Away. Jacob, who died hundreds of years ago but woke up as a ghost in the Zwischenraum - the space around us mortal beings, is protecting Jeremy from "the Finder of Occassions."
When beguiling Ginger comes along, despite her friend's thoughts that Jeremy is not a worthy boyfriend, she invites him to join them. But mostly she brings him into dangerous situations, and Jeremy, flattered to be invited by such a charming girl, and despite Jacob Grimm's warnings, goes along. Is this the case of a demonic girl "luring" Jeremy into evil or an innocent girl just playing pranks?
This amazing small town modern tale, meshes with the haunting tales of the Brothers Grimm. It is full of surprises, plot twists and hidden places. I thought I knew where it was heading and was totally wrong. It's a seat of your pants thriller, but in an old fashioned, Grimm sort of way. Far Far Away is being released today, June 11.
Scarlet by Merissa Meyer
Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder is every bit as good as Cinder was. Scarlet Benoit is a farmer living in rural France. Her grandmother has been missing, she'd disappeared without leaving a message or sending a comm. She'd missed Scarlet's 18th birthday, even though she'd bought the ingredients for Scarlet's favorite lemon cake. No one had seen her go and Scarlet had found her id chip. And now the police has said her grandmother had wanted to leave, but Scarlet knew that was wrong, she knew grandmere been kidnapped.
In Rieux, the town where she goes to deliver vegetables to a tavern, Scarlet happens to meet a man, a ferocious street fighter, named Wolf. Though she doesn't know if she can fully trust him, she is attracted to him and when he tells her he will help her find her grandmother, she goes off with him to Paris.
Having escaped from prison with a dashing daredevil prisoner Cinder arrives in Paris, just when Scarlet is at her lowest. Their fight to stay ahead of Queen Levana and the Lunars is exciting and the book ends on a cliffhanger with you anxiously waiting for the third book in the Lunar Chronicles.
The Teen's Top Ten
|Every year, teens ages 12-18 from throughout the country vote for their favorite books from the previous year. Here are the 2013 Top Ten titles:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
I thought Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass has one of the best titles and covers I can think of and should draw in a lot of readers. I liked the way story is told in the voice of Piedad, Piddy, Sanchez about the year she and her mother move to a different part of Queens and she has to start her sophomre year at a new high school. It's not far from her old apartment, where she can visit her "aunt" Lila, and friend Joey. But as far as school is concerned, it's a lot rougher. Suddenly she's attracted unwanted attention from Yaqui Delgado and a gang of tough girls. Piddy has no idea who Yaqui Delgado is when she's given a threatening note, but Yaqui doesn't like Piddy. Piddy doesn't hang out with the Latino students, they weren't exactly inviting, and she takes honors classes. Piddy also shakes her ass when she walks and seems to have attracted Yacqui's boyfriend's attention.
After threatening her, Yacqui and her group start to throw things at her. Things keep escalating till Piddy stops going to school and is falling behind and lying to her mother. On top of that she's angry at her mother for being so uptight, working so hard and never telling her anything about her father. And her best friend Mitzi who moved to Long Island seems to be forgetting all about her.
As the bullying escalates and all these other problems compound, Piddy begins to isolate herself more and more and even lose her sense of who she is. She begins to dress and act differently. She starts to meet Joey Delgado in the basement of her old building; Joey, whose father beat his mother and him as well.
Other characters around her provide needed joy and color. The ladies at the salon where Lila does champu and Piddy works on Saturdays are a great cast of secondary characters, as is Lila with her Avon business. Around them there is always music and dancing. In fact, it was learning to do the merengue from Lila that got Piddy "shaking her stuff" that got her noticed by Yaqui Delgado.
I loved the scenes in the salon and at Lila's as much as I dreaded the scenes at school. The ending where everything is wrapped up a bit too fast and neatly. Other than that it's really a good read.