Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Yay Classics!

The amazing thing about classics is how they manage to survive decade to decade. Seriously, how many things that were popular 10 years ago are still popular? (Not like One Direction popular but still being read regularly.) Barely anything. And some classic books are decades or centuries old! How great must a book be if it can still be so great years and thousands of other books later that you read it and love it? I also have the benefit of being an old fart so some classics I was lucky enough to have read when I was young, before they became classics. So, I'm going review some classics. And because this month is LGBT History Month, I'm going to give you some great LGBT classic books.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

It's almost Halloween, and my mind always turns to dark suburban streets, and the rattle of dry leaves blown by the first cold wind of the season.  We all love creepy stories because we never think it could happen to us.  That's what Kerry thought too, and no good deed goes unpunished.  When Kerry's little brother asks her to go get the teddy bear he forgot at the laundromat, she figures the worst that could happen is a scolding from her father. Sure it was eleven'o'clock at night, and she didn't have permission to take the car, but it's just the laundromat.

When Kerry walks in, the laundromat is deserted and creepy, but she finds the teddy bear and turns to go.  Then a group of thugs burst through the door with a boy about Kerry's age, tied up and bleeding. Once they notice Kerry, they take her prisoner too while they try to determine is she's "one of them." One of what Kerry isn't sure, until they pull out Bibles and start talking about waiting until dawn.  They think the boy is a vampire, and they plan to kill him.  And Kerry too if she can't convince them she's human.  And that's just chapter one.  Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde is about making bad choices, falling in with dangerous people, and how hard it can be to tell a truth from a lie.  Plus, there's kidnapping, murder, and maybe a vampire.  These are a few of my favorite things.  Happy reading.
~ gothbrarian

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Running Dream is a fantastic book, I loved it! Being a runner myself it seemed like a book that I would enjoy and I was right. This is a story about a girl, Jessica, who loves running and is a track star at her school. On the way home from a track meet she ends up losing her leg below the knee in a terrible bus accident. The author makes you feel like you are right there with Jessica when she wakes up in the hospital and begins her “new life” as an amputee. She also deals with what it is like being a teen with a handicap and wondering if guys will still like you. Jessica is a really lucky girl because she has a great family, friends, coach and teammates that support her. The most unlikely girl at school, Rosa, who has CP, and someone who is overlooked by Jessica and her classmates becomes an unexpected friend. This book is about overcoming obstacles. No matter what’s thrown at you in life you have to take it step by step and eventually you’ll get there. The dream lives on!
 -Iron Librarian

Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Save a Life

Happy Teen Read Week! Are you ready to vote for the Teen Top Ten? The 2013 winners will be announced October 22!

 Because you have probably been reading many of 2013's top ten nominees,I wanted to tell you about a nominee from last year.(Topic and story so NOT so last year.) 
 How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr is a story that sticks with you---in a good way!

Jill is wrecked. Her dad recently died. She’s stopped communicating with her friends, family and boyfriend. Her mom, who should be mourning with Jill, is busy planning to adopt a baby from a teen she met online. It gets worse. Jill despises teen mom Mandy and soon Mandy will be moving in with them until the baby is born!

Mandy on the other hand has never suffered a family crisis because...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Perfect Halloween Book

A little scary, a little creepy, with a good dose of humor and lots of wackiness, Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez makes for good Halloween reading. 

Nessy is a kobold in charge of tending the castle of Margle the Horrendous and caring for all the beasts, ghosts, undead, and enemies that Margle has cursed into bizarre forms over the years.  Margle, in case you haven't guessed by now, is a wizard.  A greedy wizard with a inordinate love of revenge.  So when he dies, all of his odd (and occasionally gruesome) collections of both beasts and former enemies are thrilled.  Until they discover that the magics in the castle are unraveling in strange ways.

Nessy is the only one without a curse, so everyone's expecting her to save the day.  Nessy would much rather clean house (she prefers things tidy and orderly), but suddenly that's not so much of an option.  She and her friends (a bat, a disembodied voice, a purple people eater, and pieces of a wizard in a jar) are now frantically trying to outwit demons, an evil wizardess, and keep monsters on the loose from eating the other residents of the castle. 

If you find yourself waiting for Too Many Curses, check out one of A. Lee Martinez's other books.  Brew up some hot cider and curl up with some early Halloween candy and one of his books.  If you like wacky and a little creepy, you won't regret it. 

~ Book Ninja