Saturday, January 29, 2011

Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck

9th grader Kerry thinks she has it made when the three most popular girls in school take her into their clique. But she finds herself totally alone again when her three new friends die in a car crash. Or do they? Weeks after the accident Kerry receives a text from one of her friends saying that they are all waiting for her in the city. Kerry knows she has to go see them but she's not sure what she will find...

King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett

Telemachos is the prince of the island of Ithaka. His father, Odysseus, has been missing for years since he left to fight in the Trojan war. Although his country is at peace, some of the neighbors are unhappy and are pressuring Telemachos' mother to marry one of them. The only way for Telemachos to keep his mother safe is to find his father and bring him home. Even though he has always been frightened of sailing, he decides to embark on a quest to find Odysseus. With his best friend, a centaur, and a stowaway, Telemachos sails off to another country where he finds a whole new world and tons of adventure. Based on the myth of Odysseus.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hero by Mike Lupica

Zach's father is a close advisor to the president and tells Zach that his job is to take care of "the Bads" in the world. One afternoon when his father is gone yet again, Zach has a bad feeling and runs home to find out that his father has died when his plane crashed. Dealing with his grief, Zach begins to notice some changes in himself. For the first time ever he is able to stand up to the boy who has always bullied him. He also finds himself drawn to Central Park at night where he protects women from men hiding in the bushes. Zach feels especially drawn to go visit the scene of his dad's plane crash and when there he meets Mr. Herbert who presents Zach with lots of riddles about his father and the news that he was a superhero. What's more, Zach has now inherited his dad's super powers. Zach is skeptical at first but when Mr. Herbert runs off, Zach follows and finds that he is able to travel the hundreds of miles home in the blink of an eye. Now all he has to do is figure out how to use his new powers before the Bads find him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

Levi's brother Boaz had everything going for him - a beautiful girlfriend and his choice of any college he wanted. But instead he joined the Marines and has been serving in Iraq. Now Boaz is home and everyone is celebrating him as a hero. But Levi is worried about his older brother. Boaz never leaves his room, won't talk to his ex-girlfriend, won't travel anywhere unless he can walk there, and spends all day on the computer printing out maps of the east coast. When Boaz tells his parents that he's going to hike the Appalachian Trail Levi knows he has a different plan in mind and he is determined to join his brother on his trek and see if he can finally get through to him. But finding Boaz on the road is just the first problem. Figuring out what has changed his brother takes a lot more work.

Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

Liza is 16 and looking forward to her first year in society - a year that should be filled with beautiful gowns, fancy balls and many rich suitors. But when she finds herself a penniless orphan she is forced to take a job as a lady's maid to princess Victoria. Suddenly she is a servant who has to please a tempermental royal or else she will find herself on the street just like Victoria's previous maid. Liza's job is made even more difficult by a request to help spy on the princess's mother and her "friend", Sir John. In addition, Sir John makes it clear that he was responsible for the firing of Victoria's last maid after she refused his attentions. Liza must work to stay on everyone's good side so that she has a hope of being made a Lady again when Victoria finally ascends to the throne. But as she finds out more and more secrets from the members of Kensington Palace it becomes difficult to keep herself out of trouble. This book full of mystery and intrique is based on the true life of Queen Victoria while she was just a teenager.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

Jenna wakes up to find that she has been in a coma for the last 18 months of her life after a car accident with her two best friends. She now lives across the country from her previous home and her grandmother seems to hate her for no reason that Jenna can figure out. She has little memory of her previous life but for some reason she can recall the text of entire books and recite facts from history at will. With her mother giving her very little information Jenna has to piece together who she was and what has happened to her. An even bigger question that looms is what is she now?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Anne Frank wasn't alone in the annex where she hid for two years before being found by the Nazis. Her family shared the space with Peter Van Pels and his family. This book, based on the real events that are known about Peter and Anne, is told from Peter's point of view. Unhappy about leaving his girlfriend behind to go into hiding, Peter feels like he should be doing something to help Jewish resistance fighters. At first annoyed by Anne's constant chatter Peter eventually grows to love her while admiring her dedication to telling their story for future generations. But when they are all arrested and taken to the death camps Peter must find his own way to survive the terrible things that are happening there.