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

loss

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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.

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Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

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Author: Will Hobbs

For years mom has wanted to go on a trip to Mexico, and now it's finally happening...except dad isn't going. He has been apposed to this trip ever since the idea was formed. So it's just mom, Travis, Jennifer, and Teddy. The story is narrated by the oldest, Travis. His family goes down to Mexico, and at first it's great. Then his mom starts acting strange. Jennifer, fourteen, is constantly worrying about her, and the family. Then there's Teddy, he's running around trying to saved endangered sea turtles. Not that Travis cares. He's just waiting to meet some beautiful stranger that also happenes to be on vacation, and start a relationship. But then everything changes. For the worse.

I read this book practically non-stop, and it took about five hours. I REALLY loved it. This is another book that goes on my "favorite books" list. Five exploding stars.

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Author: Sarah Dessen

Loved loved loved this YA/Adult Book about falling in love with the right person and about overcoming grief when you have lost a parent. The creativity comes in for Macy when she learns that catering is challenging & expressive.  She also falls in love with an artist.  She rejects a job at a library (it made me sad that the work was stale and the librarians were mean) and finds that catering is more her speed.  Her sister helps her & her mom through grieving with another creative project--redoing their cottage. The characters at Wish Catering are well-rounded and help Macy to grow. Cool read!

Bullyville

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Title: Bullyville
Author: Francine Prose

Interesting YA book about what it is like to attend a boarding school, during the day, where bullying is rampant. Tied into the story is a reflection on 9/11 because the protagonist's father died in the Twin Towers. The boy is grappling with the loss of his dad, trying to get along with his mom, and coming of age. There is a very good twist in the book that I did not see coming. This is abook about sorting it all out and being a good person.