Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Psychic War With Uncle Sam by E. Alexander Scianna, Jean Campbell

17563331I really enjoyed this book. It gave an interesting perspective on modern American politics. By modern I mean 1900 on pretty much. Money over people. It may be a bit to political for some people.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

6363971In [The Other Side of the Island] the author[Allegra Goodman] gives us a very interesting take on our possible future. The Corporation and Earth Mother are building the Enclosure over the (now flooded) Earth to protect the people. The question is at what cost does this protection come and what are you willing to sacrifice?

The book was an excellent read and as the author intended left me with questions. I will be highly recommending this book to my students.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Island of the Unknowns by Benedict Carey

Island of the Unknowns: A Mystery My first response as I read [Island of the Unknowns] by [Benedict Carey] was "Oh God there is math in it!" Needless to say I overcame my phobia and pushed on to find out it was a great mystery book. Yes, it did have math but they were the clues and I think this book shows a fun and practical use for math.

Monday, June 23, 2014

BOMB by Steve Sheinkin

13170021[BOMB] by [Steve Sheinkin] is the story of the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. It is broken into readable chunks and although it is very information heavy it is still interesting. As a YA nonfiction novel it is ok. The topic itself lends itself to being a little dry. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Schasm by Shari J. Ryan

20620652[Shari J. Ryan] did a fantastic job of character development in [Schasm]. This is a very character driven novel that keeps you guessing. Chloe's struggle with her "illness" and even more so with her mother is the center of this story. It gets even more complicated when Alex enters. I still am not sure what is the truth in this book but it left me wanting more. It is a nice non vampire, non sex driven YA romance twist.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chasing Prophecy by James Moser

21955166[Chasing Prophecy] by [James Moser] was a different twist on the YA paranormal fiction genre. The adventure and the characters are genuine. The style flows well.

The plot has cults, murder, drugs, romance and Bigfoot. What else could you want in a novel.

Wednesdaymeter by Dean Carnby

22031898I am not really what to say about [Dean Carnby's] [Wednesdaymeter]. I know I will never look at fruit or shapes the same way again. To say the least it was absurd but still enjoyable. The same way Monty Python is enjoyable.

The book was very well written and detail oriented. The language, although high level, was never pretentious. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a thought provoking mental break.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth

13335037Since I will be teaching this book next year I just reread it. I still have yet to see the movie and probably won't because movies always disappoint me. I had forgotten what a romance this book was but the action balances it out. It seemed better the first time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Medira by Robert King

[Medira] is [Robert King's] second installment of [Memoirs on Being]. I really enjoyed the first one [Time Ahead] but found this one a little confusing and disjointed. I am considering going back and reading both back to back to see if that may help.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Dynamics of Disaster by Susan W. Kieffer

16175929I had high hopes for [The Dynamics of Disaster] since I love learning about how disasters impact our world. Although [Susan W. Kieffer] obviously knows her content and is passionate about it all the technical reading turned out to be a bit dry. I imagine the author would be a wonderful person to take a class from or work with the human wit does not transfer well to scientific information in text form.

That being said I would love to work with her on her CDC-PE idea.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Program by Suzanne Young

11366397The Program is a way to prevent teenage suicide which has become an epidemic. That is they way THEY sell it but is it really? Sloane and James do not believe it. Neither so the other teens. They have seen Returners and they are not the same, they are missing their memories.

Suzanne Young has created a compelling look into the future. The story keeps you wanting more. Luckily the sequel The Treatment is already out.

reparation by Ruth Rodgers

[Ruth Rodgers] addresses the changing racial views in the south through her novel [reparation]. Katie and Delia were best friends as young children but as they got older society drove them apart. In their teens Katie witnesses a horrible incident. She carries the guilt of not standing up for her friend and what she knew was right.

Now it is 2006 and Katie has returned home to help take care of her mom. By chance she is reunited with Delia. Katie is determined to make amends and get justice for her friend.

[Rodgers] does an amazing job of portraying the emotions of the characters. The story flows well and the flashbacks fill in the history giving the reader the perspective of the narrator(Katie). I also found the mention of Juneteenth interesting because not many people are aware that this is the Independence Day for the African American community. The historic perspective fit well in with the modern day mystery.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nothing But The Truth by Avi

121877Could be me. My school. My district. Scary and disheartening. I still teach The Call of the Wild.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

XGeneration 2: The Watchers by Brad Magnarella

22174620As a child I played in any woods I could building tree forts and imaginary worlds. Then we would retreat to the basement and our computers to play adventure games. You know the kind you had to read there was no graphics. 

[Brad Magnarella] in his [XGeneration] books takes me back there even including the fear of nuclear annihilation. In [Book 2: The Watchers] Janis and Scott continue to try to solve the mystery of their powers. During this they put themselves in danger because the "THEM" does not want to be found out. A decision will have to be made on how far to go before you cross the proverbial point of no return.

Again I loved the way [Magnarella] tells this story. It is super hero hits puberty. The pace keeps moving with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Highly recommend!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra

The Polaris Uprising] has a similar plot line of many teen dystopian novels. It seems that the author [Jennifer Ibarra] borrowed the best parts of many and created her own. This is not a bad thing. In fact it helps to get YA readers to try new books. 

The plot is set after a war in which the current leadership came to power and had promised to keep the people from want. Although the leader is called a president he is not democratically elected, in fact it represents a monarchy as he is prepping his youngest daughter to take his place when she come of age. His oldest daughter is a doctor who has just come of age and will marry her 'match'.

In this novel the idea that the state takes care of everything including your decisions is a driving force. It has let to the uprising as people want some freedom back. The sisters get entangled in this conflict. The question is what side will they take?
The Polaris Uprising (Polaris, #1)

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Secret Dead by S.W. Fairbrother


This is a fantastic twist on the plethora of zombie novels out there. [SW Fairbrother] did a great job describing the life of a hag in [The Secret Dead]. The "non-humans" have rights in London. Witches, shape shifter's, ware's, and many others. Of course there are those against these "different" people. Their rights must be defended while protecting everyone. Except zombies, because they might cause the end of the world.

A well written. The pace of the story kept me engaged. I really likes the Hogwarts reference.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake


[One Came Home] by [Amy Timberlake] is a highly acclaimed book. I really liked the historic aspects. I did not know people hunted pigeons. Also the character of Georgie is a strong, headed individual. I just felt the first half of the book was like a soap opera. I wanted more details about events and less about the relationship muddle of her sister. I like my historic fiction to have more history.

Storm Warriors by Elisa Carbone

232073[Storm Warriors] by [Elisa Carbone] has been on my reading 'pile' for sometime. As a middle school teacher I love to add books to my library. This one is definitely a gem.
The story is about the Pea Island Life Saving Station. These stations were what was to become the Coast Guard. What makes this station's story unique is it was fully manned by African Americans at a time when Jim Crow was rearing his ugly head.
I would love to read this one with my seventh graders.

Hazardous Duty by W.E.B. Griffin

As an avid [W.E.B. Griffin] fan I was slightly disappointed by [Hazardous Duty]. The whole story seemed like a long bachelor party and lacked any of the normal substance. Yes, the characters were there but even the "old friends" seemed to be shallow. Does not mean I will stop reading every book [Griffin] puts out just this one seemed a weak link.