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

isolation

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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.

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Author: Iain Lawrence

I found this treasure of an audio in our collection at the library. The reader (Ed Sala) had such an interesting style of presentation with meaningful pauses and breaks in his narration. The story is about a mom, dad, son, and daughter living in isolation on an island off the Western coast of Canada. We are introduced to how they spend their days, ("Work first, play later."), their months, and their years. All four characters deal with the loneliness in different ways. Squid (the daughter) looks forward to leaving the island some day. Alistair (the son) keeps diaries and plays the flute in attempts to stay sane. Hannah (the mother) does her daily chores and works with the lessons for her children. And Murray (the patriarch and lighthouse keeper) lords over all. (To be fair, he was there first!).

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Title: Falling
Author: Doug Wilhelm

This book was a short and easy read. It's about a boy, who after finding out his brother is no longer doing sports or going off to college has decided to also quit sports and sort of isolate himself from his life, until he meets this girl, Katie, in a chatroom online. She finds out who he is, and that they attend the same school. She meets him, and asks the right questions, and he finally learns how to trust someone in his life. I give this book probably 4/5 stars. I liked the format it was written in, a lot of third person and a lot of different people's point of view. I thought the book was maybe to sappy for comfort. Matt seemed alright but Katie just the way she reacted a lot of the time, and then Neal. I just don't think this book was real enough, if that makes any sense. It was like they were trying to make it real, but then Katie just seemed so stereotypical.

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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.

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