Syndicate content

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

identity

Make Your Own Music

bookcover
Author: Eric Gansworth

Love this cover! .... school, bullying, family, friendship, dating, and one of the best parts..... links to classic rock music from the late 1970s!  Queen, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Wings....  Smart 7th grader, Lewis Blake, is a Native American attending a public school that is filled with unrest.  HIs friend, George, has a mutual interest in music and the forge through middle school with all its bumps and growing pains.  This book kept me riveted through to the dramatic end.

bookcover
Author: Francisco Stork

Pancho has vowed to seek revenge on the man who killed his sister, Rosa. Since he cannot legal live alone, being only 17, he finds himself at St. Anthony’s orphanage in New Mexico. There, he meets D.Q., a young man suffering from cancer who is now wheelchair bound. D.Q. shares with Pancho some of his writing, called the Death Warriors’ Manifesto. These writings are about how a true “death warrior” recognizes that life is short and lives his/her life for the better.

Pancho proves himself a true friend by standing with D.Q. while he attempts to emancipate himself from his estranged mother. His mother comes out of the woodwork when she finds out about his condition and attempts to control his medical care. At first, Pancho’s support is only due to the possibility of getting closer to his sister’s killer, in Albuquerque, but as time goes on, the boys meet Marisol and though interactions with her, their lives change.

Grade 10-12; The main characters in this book are older teenagers and so, I think this book would be most suitable for that age group (16-18). Generally, I have found that readers are most engaged when the main character is around the same age as they are. Also, the philosophical depth in this book might be difficult for some younger readers. Finally, the parallels between this book and Cervante’sDon Quixote might be missed altogether by younger readers.

My reaction: This novel was very deep. It is very much a modern spin on Don Quixote, one of my favorite pieces of classic literature. I felt as though I could relate in a lot of ways to the main characters though, it did take me about 100 or more pages to warm up to Pancho’s character. This book would be good for reluctant teen readers or a young men’s book club—if you can get teenage boys to participate in a book club.

bookcover
Author: Mary E. Pearson

"The accident was over a year ago. I've been awake for two weeks. Over a year has vanished. I've gone from sixteen to seventeen. A second woman has been elected president. A twelfth planet has been named in the solar system. The last wild polar bear has died. Headline news that couldn't stir me. I slept through it all."

Jenna Fox has just woken up from a coma. She can’t remember where she is, who her family is, or even who she used to be. While her personal memories are blank, she can remember the facts of the world she left behind. From the moment she woke up, she has been given disks to watch. These are disks of her past life containing moments from birth to the year she entered her coma.  As she watches the disks, she learns so much about a girl she is supposed to be. In reality, she is just trying to figure herself out in a world that may not be what it seems. Can she trust these people she calls Mom and Dad? Can she even believe in herself?

Read more»

One Choice

bookcover
Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth

This is one of the best books I've ever read! Taking place in future Chicago, society is divided into to five factions. When kids turn sixteen they take what is called the Aptitude test, which determines where you belong. When 16 year old Beatrice Prior takes the Aptitude test, her results surprise her. On the day when every 16 year old must choose which faction to devote the rest of their lives to, Beatrice makes a decision that surprises everybody that she knows. Filled with electrifying action, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance, this book is one of the best books I've ever read. I literally couldn't put it down. I give this books 5 stars. It had me itching to read the next book.

Double Identity Book Review

bookcover
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Double Identity is a science fiction book about a girl named Bethany. Lately, her parents have been acting weird. Her father is really concerned about her safety and her mom never stops crying. One day her father gets them all in a car and drives them all to an aunt she never even knew existed. They leave her there with not even an emergency phone number. While she is there she encounters a person who thinks Bethany looks familiar, even though she has never seen her before. As more and more unexplained events happen, she is trying to figure it all out and the only hint is about someone named Elizabeth. Since a man keeps following her around she realizes she isn’t the only one trying to figure everything out.
I give this book 4 stars out of five!

bookcover
Title: Candor
Author: Pam Bachorz

Candor is a town where subliminal messages in constantly played music control everything every good citizen thinks, does and feels. There is no escape and withdrawal from the music could kill you. Oscar Banks, the son of the town's designer, is the only one who can resist the music. While every other teenager in the town does their homework, eats some healthy food and does more homework, Oscar plays along and creates a playlist with his own messages to help new kids escape. When Oscar falls in love with a new girl, Nia, his whole act falls apart. Will Oscar choose Nia or a perfect safe life in Candor? I give Candor two and a half shiny stars. The ending will surly surprise you.

bookcover
Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth

In Beatrice's dystopian Chicago, the people are divided into 5 factions: Amity (the peaceful), Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), the Dauntless (the brave), and the Erudite (the intelligent). But when Beatrice is given the results to the faction test, she finds that she is Divergent. She is warned that if anyone found out what she is, her secret could cause death. By choosing a faction, she can remain hidden. But slowly Beatrice is finding that her flawless world may not be so perfect after all. Full of action, friendship, and unexpected romance, Veronica Roth's first book in the Divergent series was incredible.

bookcover
Author: Sarah Dessen

Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean Sweet chose to live with her father. When doing so, she also agreed to go around the U.S. to help fix up diners and restaurants. The first time she moved, she was known as Eliza, the perky cheerleader girl. Then she was Lizbet, the "drama mama", and then Beth, the all-round joiner. Next comes Lakeview, but Mclean really doesn't know who she's going to be now. She doesn't even remember who she used to be. Determined to help, Dave slowly begins to break down the real Mclean... But what if Mclean has to move again before she remembers who she was? Touching, humorous, and joyful, Sarah Dessen's 10th novel to not bring me down. It's definitely one of her best books.

bookcover
Author: An Na

A Korean family emigrates to the United States in search of a better life. Told from the viewpoint of the daughter, the story follows her from age four to age sixteen. She and her family encounter language difficulties, feelings of isolation, a struggle for identity, and an abusive relationship with her father. Young Ju, the daughter, goes to school with no understanding of English, and develops into one of the top members of her class. Apa, the father, begins to resent her acquisition of English and her successful assimilation into American culture. He resents those who understand English, mistrusts the intensions of Americans, and becomes abusive with his family. Uhmma, the mother, adapts much more readily, is able to stay focused on the dream of becoming American and allowing her children to live a better life. She and the children join a church, in order to become more accepted and further assimilated into the culture. Apa; however, holds the family back, punishing them for their successes. Eventually, the struggle to fit in becomes too much for Apa, and he moves back to Korea. The rest of the family remains in America and is finally allowed to develop as Americans.

Read more»