Perfectly dreadful

Sones, S. (2013). To be perfectly honest: A novel based on an untrue story. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Genre: Romance, realistic, verse Intended audience: Teenage girls Personal reaction to the book: Colette, the protagonist, is one of the most annoying characters it has ever been my displeasure to see through… Continue reading Perfectly dreadful


Sweet 16 ain’t so peachy keen

Shepard, S. (2008). Unbelievable. New York: Harper Teen. Genre: Mystery Intended audience: Mid-teen girls and older Personal reaction to the book: Surprisingly good (it is the basis for an ABC Family TV show) little thriller. Combines lots of social infighting/gossip with just a touch of violence to produce a book with a lot going on.… Continue reading Sweet 16 ain’t so peachy keen

He’s a magic man

Scott, M. (2007). The Alchemyst: The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel. New York: Delacorte. Genre: Fantasy Intended audience: Teens/young adults Personal reaction to the book: This is a worthy follow-up to J. K. Rowling for YA readers who have memorized Harry Potter and are looking for another fantasy series to pick up. Scott has… Continue reading He’s a magic man

Long black veil

Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. New York: Pantheon. Genre: Graphic novel Intended audience: Mid- to older teens Personal reaction to the book: I enjoyed this. The art is done in a distinctive style, almost minimalist, and the black-and-white presentation adds to the tone of the book. The subject matter is equally distinctive, telling the story of… Continue reading Long black veil

Digging Holes

Sachar, L. (2008). Holes: 10th anniversary edition. New York: Yearling. Genre: Adventure Intended audience: Tweens and younger teens Personal reaction to the book: A great tween/teen story: Nice use of flashbacks, good moral without being moralist and a quick, fun read. Well-crafted characters. The mundane description of the bizarre work camp adds texture. It's a… Continue reading Digging Holes

Boy21 for the ages

Quick, M. (2012). Boy21. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Genre: Realistic Intended audience: Any teens, especially boys Personal reaction to the book: A book about the transformative power of friendship. Wow. We've been reading a lot of YA books with a background of mental illness for this class (Wintergirls, It's kind of… Continue reading Boy21 for the ages

Here be drag … (yawns)

Paolini, C. (2003). Eragon. New York: A.E. Knopf Genre: Fantasy Intended audience: Tweens through mid-teens Personal reaction to the book: A remarkable achievement for a teenage author and my kid loves it. From an adult perspective, it is a paint-by-numbers fantasy title. The protagonist is more than a little self-centered, even for a YA book,… Continue reading Here be drag … (yawns)

Death or glory, just another story?

Myers, W.D. (2008). Sunrise over Fallujah. New York: Scholastic. Genre: War / realistic Intended audience: Mid-teens and up Personal reaction to the book: This is a standard war story: Hero is wounded; buddy dies in heroic attempt to save an innocent. It wants to be an anti-war book, but spent too much time describing the details… Continue reading Death or glory, just another story?

Taken for a Ride

Patterson, J. (2005). The angel experiment (Maximum Ride #1). New York: Little, Brown & Co. Genre: Fantasy / adventure Intended audience: General YA Personal reaction to the book: It's a crap book, but it's a crap book aimed carefully at a demographic that undoubtedly loves it. The extensive, repeated descriptions of flying and escaping the bad… Continue reading Taken for a Ride

Cosmic Q& A

Munroe, R. (2014). What if? New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Genre: Nonfiction, humor Intended audience: Geeks of all ages; some of the humor will be lost on young readers Personal reaction to the book: It's a little like Mythbusters, only on an untestable scale. Munroe muses about or answers readers' often impossible questions (What would happen… Continue reading Cosmic Q& A