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

youth

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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: A.S. King

Great book! This book treats a delicate subject masterfully. Astrid is in high school and she is really enjoying philosophy class. This makes sense because she is smart and a thinker and feeler who is just trying to make sense of her world. She has a job at a catering firm on weekends where her major responsibility is deveining shrimp. And she likes to de-stress by laying down on the picnic table in her backyard and sending up love to the airplanes flying overhead--she likes to send love to the passengers who are traveling on the planes. Her landscape is populated by some not very supportive people: her mother who is self-involved and critical of Astrid; her father who is coping with their new small hometown life by abusing marijuana; her sister Ellis who is very eager to fit in and is also homophobic; her friend Kristina who is pretending to be the popular girl at school; her friend Justin who is pretending to be the popular boy at school; the love of her life, Dee, who is being too physically aggressive. Astrid ponders when she feels comfortable and when she doesn't; when she feels most like herself and when she is happy. The reader is rooting for her all the way because she doesn't want to be pigeonholed especially when she sees how much effort the people around her put into keeping up appearances (and how detrimental that can be). There are gems throughout this book but the final description of passenger #587, at the very end of the book, is very poignant and thought provoking. So good!