Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Parents are only allowed to have two children and Luke is the third child in his family. Since he is illegal he has had to live all of his life in hiding, mostly in the attic, or face arrest by the Population Police. Luke is convinced that he is the only third child in the world but one day he sees a girl's face looking out the window of a neighbor's house after the rest of the family has left for the day. Luke is determined to talk to this possible other hidden child and when he finally finds a way to meet with her he learns that the government is controlling lives in many ways in addition to the limits on children.
Skiff's mother left him three directions before she died - think smart, speak true, and never give up. Skiff is trying to live up to her expectations but finds himself acting alone since his father is deep in grief. When their boat is damaged beyond use by the rich bully in town Skiff doesn't see any way to dig out of the problems he has. But when Skiff sees a man selling a giant tuna in town for a huge sum of money he decides that he will catch a fish at least that big to solve his problems. Since their main boat is out of service Skiff will have to get the big fish using just his ten foot boat and a harpoon made by his father. He sails before dawn one day to a spot 30 miles out into the ocean to wait for his dream fish. But when problem after problem threaten his dream, he thinks that he has probably ignored his mother's rule of thinking smart and it might even cost him his life.
At 16 Jenna has had to be very responsible. She takes care of her younger sister now that her parents are divorced and her mother works the night shift. Her beloved grandmother has Alzheimer's disease and cannot be the support for Jenna she once was. Jenna works for a shoe store and excels at her job. When the president of the shoe chain asks Jenna to drive her to Texas Jenna jumps at the chance to be away from home and to use her brand new driver's license. On the way to Texas she learns that even rich Mrs. Gladstone has problems of her own. At the moment, she is traveling across country to try to stop a takeover of her company by her greedy, evil son. Jenna finds herself enjoying Mrs. Gladstone and ends up playing an important part in the meeting with the shoe store executives.
Miri lives in a small village on Mount Eskel and assumes that she will work in the local quarry like most people in town. But the girls on the mountain are surprised to learn that the prince of their country will choose his wife from their village. Every eligible girl in the village is sent down the mountain to attend a school to prepare them for life as a princess. The girls are completely cut off from their lives and families by a strict teacher and heavy snow. Some of the girls are working hard to be chosen by the prince while others, like Miri, are discovering themselves and their own abilities for the first time.
Leela is the spoiled daughter of rich parents in India in the 1940s. According to the custom of the time she is already married although she does not live with her husband. She will soon join her husband's family in a customary celebration. But before she gets to enjoy this celebration her husband dies from a snake bite. Although she has never enjoyed any of the privileges of marriage she now finds herself a widow and must live accordingly. The rules of widowhood in India at that time state that she cannot wear jewelry or bright colors, she can never marry again, and she must spend one year inside her house. With the help of a tutor who comes to the house Leela begins to learn more about her country and finds hope for her future in the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi.
Clay gets a box of audiotapes in the mail from Hannah, a girl who has recently commited suicide. The note with the tapes says that each side tells the story of a person who is partially responsible for Hannah's suicide and that if you have received the tapes, you are one of the reasons why. Clay had a crush on Hannah and thought that he had always treated her well so he is worried about what he might have done to contribute to her death. Clay starts listening to Hannah telling her own story of torment, learning secrets about many of his classmates and teachers along the way.
Cadence's father is in the mental hospital, again. Cadence is not sure what problems her father has but when she finds a post office box number in his things she starts writing letters to this unknown friend of her father's hoping he will provide some insight. She sees herself as Rapunzel - alone and locked in a tower waiting for answers. But when her letters to the post office box are not answered she has to try to find reasons for the problems in her life by herself.