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

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Author: Pete Hautman

Pete Hautman. I never thought you could capture the teenage voice the same way you did in Godless, but I'm happy to say that I was wrong, wrong, wrong! Kalleigh lives in the suburbs with her father who is a lawyer, and her mother who is a housewife. On the surface, they are a typical middle class family, with the strangest thing about them being that Kalleigh's wardrobe mainly consists of black and gray clothing. I almost didn't pick up this book because I'm not a huge fan of plot driven stories, and I figured it would mostly be action-related. But, I was wrong. The story has you focusing on the whys. Why doesn't Kalleigh's "boyfriend" have noticeable feelings toward her? Why does her father continue to defend a client who is clearly guilty of assault? Why is her dad driving around in the middle of the day when he is supposed to be at work? Why does Kalleigh's mom drink too much at book club? And most importantly, Why does Kalleigh feel so inclined to steal cars? This book will have you thinking about appearances, and the inner turmoil we all go through, doing our best to cope and feel alive.

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Author: Julius Lester

Wow! This book just blew me away. The content is mind blowing. Two seemingly content and adjusted adults, Rachel/mom/artist and Eric/dad/psychologist have a marriage that is disintegrating until the horrible fateful day when Eric kills Rachel by two bullets to the head in front of a coffee shop in broad daylight. The story is told in turns by their two children Jenna and Jeremy who are about at the age of adolescence. Subsequently, Jenna and Jeremy have to make some very adult decisions. Among them, will they testify in favor of their dad in court? Who will they choose to live with out of relatives and friends? Where will they live? You read the headlines in the paper about such acts of violence but it is only after having read this book that I realize how many complicated (& sad) layers there are to such a story. There are distinct sexual threads in this book and some language. I would recommend this book to mature Young Adults. It is definitely haunting.

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Author: Wendy Mass

Welcome to the Moon Shadow Campground where thousand of star gazers have gathered with their family and friends to watch the solar eclipse.  Meet three teens: Ally, Bree and Jack.  All very different, all in a difficult situation.  Told in alternating voices, we discover that each character has layers of personality and Wendy Mass does a great job in blending them to each other throughout the book.  I learned a lot about astronomy, too.  If you liked Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl you'll love Every Soul a Star.  Oh, and this book made me want to go camping....

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Author: Elizabeth Partridge

John Lennon is most famous for being one of the Beatles. He and Paul McCartney have written so many songs that will outlast most of our lifetimes. But the Beatles were only together for a small fraction of John Lennon's life. And yet, he never really got away from being identified as a Beatle. Partridge's book does a good job of portraying Lennon's life before, during and after the Beatles. The photos in the book are so interesting and many I had not seen before. You learn about his life with his first wife and his complex relationship with his second wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon was complicated and many times lived a life of contradiction. You find out he wasn't always very nice, as a matter of fact he behaved very badly on and off throughout his life.

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Author: Melody Carlson

This book was about a seventeen year old girl (obviously) who finally seems to have luck on her side for once. Her bipolar mother just got a good job and the two of them moved to a new condo payed for by the new boss; the girl, Adele, goes to a new school and makes new friends who just so happen to be filthy rich. But then, Adele's mom runs out on her with some strange drug addict she just met, and Adele must fend for herself. She gets evicted from the condo, has to get a part-time job at the local nursing home, and is forced to live in a smelly old van. She tries her hardest to keep up appearences and not let any of her rich friends or her boyfriend find out that she is now homeless.

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Title: Touch Blue
Author: Cynthia Lord

Tess Brooks is superstitious. But who can blame her? She's a fisherman! Well, fisherwoman. At heart. She goes out on the water with her dad every day, lobster fishing. Tess loves her world. Everything about the island. Except maybe Eben. But when the government threatens to close the school due to a lack of students, what is eleven year old Tess to do? Nothing! But the islanders decide to take in a couple of foster kids to help the population, Tess' world is thrown upside down anyway. "Touch Blue" is a great story of family, of friendship, and of belonging. Check it out and let it touch your heart.

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Author: Kevin Sylvester

When was the last time you read a hilarious thriller that prepared you for your quiz on Italian explorers, while making you immensely hungry? Neil Flambé is fourteen, a culinary prodigy, and a stuck up brat. Sure, he's the cockiest of the braggarts ("I can cook better than anyone in the world!"), but he may actually be right. He's got a hippie cousin, who's much older than him, that knows more than you'd think. And Neil's got his nose. His marvelous, brilliant nose, the nose that allowed him his status as (possibly) the best chef ever. His nose has even solved mysteries! (Beat that!) But what happens when some of the best chefs in town turn of dead of a poison Neil can't identify? And...wait! Are those mysterious notes actually linked to Marco Polo? We're not sure...yet. Isabella is another story. Or is she? "Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders" is a book well worth anyone's time. It is a mystery, a history, cook book (well, not actually) and a grand old time! Check it out as soon as you can!

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Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward

10/10/2001. That's Jem's mother's number. Jem saw it whenever she looked into her mother's eyes, but it wasn't until four years after the woman's fatal heroin overdose when Jem was 11 that she realized that the number was the date her mother would die. And it's not just that number that the teen sees—she knows when everyone will die by looking into their eyes. Isolating herself from the rest of humanity seems to be the only solution until Spider, a freakishly tall, twitchy mess of a boy, refuses to leave her alone. In spite of the fact that she knows his death date is only months away, she can't resist his overtures of friendship. One afternoon, while ditching school, they head for the London Eye tourist attraction. When Jem realizes that several people standing in line are fated to die that very day, she panics and takes off. Newspapers and television pick up the story, and Jem and Spider, targeted as the terrorists responsible for destroying the Eye, or at least witnesses, are on the run in a stolen car. Ward's debut novel is gritty, bold, and utterly unique. Jem's isolation and pain, hidden beneath a veneer of toughness, are palpable, and the ending was a bit of a shock.

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