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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

Title: Lockdown
Author: Walter Dean Myers

Reese Anderson is given an opportunity to spend time helping in a nursing home as a break from an institution he has been housed in for two years. He is being punished for a crime involving drugs. He is only 14. At the nursing home, he meets a resident named Mr. Hooft. Although their relationship is contentious at the start, they eventually get to know one another. It turns out that Reese grows to understand some lessons about life from Mr. Hooft. By the end of the book, the reader feels very hopeful that Reese will be able to get his life on track. This book is truthful because you never know who you are going to meet who might help you on YOUR life's journey. The only thing I wished for from this book was more conversations between Reese and Mr. Hooft. Although, I must admit, what was portrayed was probably realistic because they would have not had that much time to spend together/talk.

Author: Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Big Black Holes is a book about suicide.  Wait, I know, I usually steer clear of suicide stories.  They are usually too heavy and sad for me but…..

 Ayse is sad, very sad and she finds a website called “Suicide Partners”.  Thus begins a story of struggle with a hopeful ending.   I thought this story was very enlightening and it makes you appreciate the people in your life that matter.

Weetzie Bat

Author: Francesca Lia Block

A genie of the lamp grants Weetzie Bat three wishes. The three wishes begin to come true as Weetzie meets her “Secret Agent Lover Man” (named just that), and her gay best friend Dirk meets “Duck.” They all live together in a house in Los Angeles that Dirk inherited from his grandmother. When Weetzie decides she wants to have a baby, Secret Agent Lover Man tells her that he has no interest in being a father because of what the world is like. Dirk and Duck want to be parents as well, but since they are both men, they cannot conceive together. Weetzie, Dirk, and Duck hatch a plan to conceive a child together. When this is achieved Secret Agent Lover Man feels betrayed and leaves. Is he gone forever? Will Weezie’s happy family ever be happy again? Can Secret Agent Lover Man get over this betrayal?

The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

After the people attempted to rise up against their government and their efforts were squashed, the Capitol has maintained strict authoritative order. One of the annual happenings, and part of this strict order, is something called the Hunger Games. Each of Panem’s districts must sent two (one male, one female) tributes to fight to the death in a game of survival of the fittest. When Prim, our heroine’s little sister, is chosen to attend the games, Katniss steps up and volunteers—saving her sister from certain death. In the games, Katniss must overcome many obstacles including teenagers in survival-mode, rule changes, and much more. Eventually, Katniss and her fellow tribute, Peeta, emerge victorious.

Author: S.E. Hinton

The story follows the lives of Ponyboy, his two brothers Darry and Sodapop, and their “gang” of greasers as they deal with the death of their parents, their positions in life, and trouble with the law caused by the accidental death of a rival (Bob). Ponyboy and Johnny run away from the scene of the crime in order to evade the authorities and the repercussions of what happened. They stay at a church out of town for five days and end up saving a group of children from a burning church. Johnny is severely injured during their act of heroism and requires hospitalization…will he survive?  Ponyboy goes back to school and brings the book full circle with his theme paper. It begins as the book began, “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight…”

Author: John Green

Miles “Pudge” Halter is obsessed with famous last words; his favorite being that of poet Francois Rabelais who said, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”  The idea of finding his personal “Great Perhaps” inspires Miles to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama. During his time at Culver Creek, Miles become friends with the beautiful, wild, and self-destructive Alaska Young, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Takumi Hikohito and Lara Buterskaya. The group is thick-as-thieves and experiment with smoking, drinking, and drugs. The different cliques in school quarrel through pranks, with each prank being more extreme than the last. Alaska is determined to pull the best prank of all. That’s all I’m going to say…I can’t seem to find a great way to conclude a summary for this book without giving away all the “feels,” so I’m going to leave it at that for those that haven’t read it. 

Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass

I have loved this whole series and the story between America and Maxon.  I really have to admit that I wasn't that crazy about Eadlyn, their daughter, at first.  She seemed very selfish and pretty spoiled.  But as I read further and started to get into the story, I started liking her more and more. Her spunk reminded me of her mother's.  It was fun to read about her escapades with the suitors.  I hope the next book will sew up all the loose ends and end the story well.  Great series, another great book. 

Author: Fern Schumer Chapman

This book written in the voice of Edith (Tiddy) explains the anguish of being sent to America, from Germany, as a child to be protected from the Nazis. It is a poignant story because the author explains how harrowing the ship voyage was; how unfamiliar everything in Chicago was; how difficult school and life would be for an immigrant who was lonely and homesick and shunned as World War II took up speed on this side of the Atlantic. What makes it all even more compelling is that the author was writing this based on true events in her family. This is a very important book and I highly recommend it to middle schoolers all the way on up. The double images of stars, the star of David, and the stars for the American military came together in a lovely synergy of loss to TWO groups on p. 200.