Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Love That Dog

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech is a novel told through poetry. It is written from the point of view of Jack, 5th grader who hates poetry and thinks it's for girls. To Jack's chagrin, his teacher is making the class read and write poetry. Even worse, she wants to put some of the poems Jack wrote on the wall for the entire class to read. Jack reluctantly agrees to let her, under the condition that his work remain anonymous. Gradually, Jack learns that poetry is not only for girls, and that there are poems that he actually likes. He also learns to be proud of his work and is willing to claim his poems.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Peanut

Peanut by Paul Hoppe
Sadie is starting at a new high school, and is worried about making friends. Being new is never easy, and she is afraid she will be doomed to suffer the tortures of high school alone. When Sadie reads an essay to the class about her peanut allergy and how it effects every aspect of her life, a few of her classmates take interest. They start a conversation, and before she knows it, Sadie has a group of friends all her own. And a super sweet boyfriend. She snagged one of those, too. The only problem is that Sadie doesn't really have a peanut allergy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rewiew: Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
When Anya decides to skip school, she never imagined she would find herself at the bottom of a well. She really didn't imagine that she would meet a ghost named Emily at the bottom of said well, either. To Anya's surprise, she finds that a bone from Emily's skeleton made it's way into her bag when she was rescued. Emily can only travel a small distance from her bones, but since Anya has one, Emily can follow her around. At first, Anya is annoyed and plans to ditch Emily and her bone ASAP. However, when Emily helps Anya pass a bio test, the idea of having Emily around suddenly becomes more appealing.

Anya and Emily become close. So close that Anya doesn't seem to want to hang out with her living friends anymore. Emily seems like a great ghost friend at first: she encourages Anya to be nice to Dima, another Russian immigrant in her school who is bullied, helps Anya in school, and is also dedicated to helping Anya snag the man of her dreams. Then the not so nice side of Emily comes out.

When Anya finds out that the man of her dreams is a complete jerk, Emily is still obsessed with the idea of Anya going out with him. What's worse is that Emily claimed that she was murdered, but with a little research (at her local library!) Anya finds out that Emily was actually the murderer. That, for some strange reason, puts Anya off, and she again resolves to ditch Emily's bone in the well. Emily on the other hand does not want that to happen. To stop Anya from leaving her to her lonesome in a well for another 90 years, Emily starts to threaten Anya by doing terrible things to her family.

And they all die.

Kidding!!! Well, Emily is already dead, but that's a minor detail. Anya's Ghost was my first graphic novel. And at this point you are wondering how I can aim to be a young adult librarian and have only read one graphic novel. After reading this one, I will definitely be reading more. I had fun reading this book. It was dark, but still humorous. I really enjoyed the illustrations and was amazed at how 3 or 4 panels with no text could set the tone so effectively. Anya was just as an annoying high school girl should be, and Emily's sweetly manipulative character reminded me a bit of Regina George from "Mean Girls." I'm a little sad that Vera Brosgol has not written any other graphic novels, but I will definitely check out more graphic novels in the near future and exploring different authors.
Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Then You Were Gone

Then You Were Gone by Lauren Stransick
Then You Were Gone is about a teenage girl, Adrienne, whose former best friend has suddenly disappeared. Adrienne's ex-best friend, Dakota, only left a truck behind at a beach, leading everyone to believe she had killed herself. However, Adrienne does not believe Dakota is the suicidal type. She believes that Dakota is still alive, and will do almost anything to find out.

In her search for what really happened to Dakota, Adrienne seems to ruin or severely strain almost all of her relationships. She puts her boyfriend to the side, and won't listen to her current best friend's advice. She develops feelings for Dakota's boyfriend, (if he can be called that) and acts on those feelings. She also starts smoking, skipping class, and participating in other behaviors that were not part of her life before Dakota disappeared.

All in all, not my cup of tea. Adrienne annoyed me and I didn't develop any sympathy for her. I did not really care whether or not she found Dakota. When she does find Dakota, the reason for her disappearance is so unsurprising, as is the aftermath of Dakota returning home. I was glad this book was a quick read, because I was ready for it to be over.