Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

I picked this book up on a whim, because it looked different. The book is wrriten in free verse which I wasn't even sure if I would like, but thought I would give it a try. This is a story of a young girl who becomes addicted to crystal meth. The story is semi-based on the author, Ellen Hopkins, own daughter. It is impossible to put down once you pick it up! You forget that you are reading "free verse" after the first few chapters and get lost in the story of the "good girl" Kristina, who transforms into "bad girl" Bree. Before you let your preteen read this book though, remember that its about a girl who becomes addicted to meth!

(I really apologize that this is such a poorly written review... I'm trying to come back to this after almost a year off... and I can't remember how to write!!!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella

This novella follows the life of Bree Tanner, who was introduced to the reader in Stephanie Meyer's Eclipse. Bree Tanner has been manipulated to believe certain things about vampires, and it follows her from her birth as a vampire, to her death. While I have been a fan of the Twilight series, this novella added nothing to the story, was hard to pay attention to, and I found myself skipping through the pages while I was waiting for the action to begin.

Not really recommended

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Patterson, J. (2009). Maximum ride: The manga. New York : Yen Press.

I found this book at the library, and couldn’t say no. I had just read James Patterson novel version of this very book, and was very curious to see how it came out as a graphic novel. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed; the text is lacking parts of the plot that I thought were pertinent to the plot. However, if I had not read the novel beforehand, I am sure that I would have been able to read the story. I know that there are many children who get excited about graphic novels, and perhaps this would be a way to bridge a gap for some reluctant readers. If you can get a student to read the graphic novel, perhaps they would be willing to pick up the novel? Maybe then they would read the rest of the Maximum Ride series? It’s definitely worth checking out.

Recommended ***

Powell, M. (2009). Red riding hood: The graphic novel. Mankato, Minnesota: Stone Arch Books.

Ruby’s grandmother makes her a magical red cloak that will protect her only in the daytime for her birthday. As Ruby goes to visit her grandmother, she is visited by a talking wolf, who runs ahead to meet her grandmother before her. A fun twist on a classic story, this graphic novel is definitely worth reading. Could be used as a part of a fairy tale unit, or on its own with students who are interested in graphic novels.

Recommended ****

Paterson, K. (2007). Bridge to terabithia. New York: HarperEntertainment.

This Newbery Medal winning book, is about Jess Aarons, who befriends a new neighbor named Leslie Burke. As their friendship grows, they create an imaginary world called “Terabithia” where they go together, and transform as individuals. This book ends sadly, and is often challenged because of the topic of death in a children’s book, but it is not my opinion that books should be avoided because of death.

Recommended ***

Paterson, K. (1978) The great gilly hopkins. New York : Harper & Row.

Gilly Hopkins, a foster child, is being moved to a new home. Despite the fact that everyone in her new home and school are trying their best to make her happy and feel welcome, Gilly knows better. She knows that she has to cause problems, and confuse everyone, and build up walls around her. This is a realistic portrayal of the difficulties that foster children have, but be prepared for no happy ending. Also, Gilly says some very racist things in the story, and I would recommend this book, but only if it is to be followed with discussion. Race is a discussion that should be had with children, and this book will bring up questions and comments.

Recommended with Caution ****

Konigsburg, E. L. (1967). From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Fairfield, PA: Atheneum.

Claudia decides that she has had enough! Her parents overwork her, do not appreciate her, and definitely do not give her a big enough allowance. She is running away. She decided the place: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her companion?: Her brother Jamie. They run away to the Museum, hide in the bathroom during closing, and sleep in the exhibits! During their stay, they become fascinated with an exhibit that may or may not have been sculpted by Michelangelo. I decided to read this book, because I read it as a child. When I originally read this book, I thought it was a delightful book and I got lost in my own imagination after reading the story. However, with adult eyes, all I could think about, was how much this could never really happen. I had such high expectations, that it ruined my second reading of the book. This story won a Newberry Award in 1967.

Recommended ***