Posted by Laura on June 14, 2010
Interested in archeology? How about picking up Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker? This book, published in 2009, has already won a number of awards (follow the link and scroll down a bit to see the list).
Reading books about how people used to live makes me very happy to be alive in this time. Such as, I am happy that the toothpaste on sale today is not as gritty as the toothpaste used during the Colonial period. I brush too hard as it is, and if I had to use the toothpaste they used I would definitely have worn all the way through to the painful pulp by now. Ouch.
It really is incredible what can be learned about a person’s life from their skeleton. Not only can they tell what bones were broken, how old (approximately) the person was, or how much physical labor they did during their life, they could also examine what the bones were made of and determine where the person lived, or in this case, how long they lived in the area. Very cool.
There are many interesting pictures and one case of a person being buried in the basement in the garbage heap. That is not where I want to end up, and I bet that person didn’t think they would, either.
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Posted by Laura on January 29, 2010
Marcelo is seventeen and has a summer job working at his school caring for the ponies. He is looking forward to starting on Monday, but his father, Arturo, has other plans for him. Arturo believes that Marcelo should work in the mail room of his law firm because Marcelo needs experience in the real world.
Marcelo’s school is a private school for children with developmental or physical disabilities called Paterson. Marcelo has a form of Autism that is best described as Asperger’s Syndrome. He is very literal, he notices everything, he doesn’t seem to feel emotions as others do, and he can hear “internal music.” Which is part of his special interest that he calls remembering.
Arturo makes a deal with Marcelo. If he is able to complete the summer job and follow all the rules, he can complete his high school education at Paterson. If he fails to live up to expectations, Marcelo will have to go to the public high school. Unfortunately for Marcelo, when he arrives at the law firm he is assigned to work with Jasmine and she resents his being there.
Then there is Wendell, the son of Arturo’s partner. He has designs on Jasmine and wants Marcelo to help in getting Jasmine on his boat so that he can bring her “below.” Marcelo is going to find out that the real world can be pretty nasty. It is a good thing that he can go to Rabbi Heschel and speak about theological and moral issues even though he is Catholic.
Marcelo in the real world by Francisco X. Stork is the recipient of the 2010 teen Schneider Family Book Award. From the ALA Website: “The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”
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Posted by Laura on July 17, 2009
Almost astronauts: 13 women who dared to dream tells the story of how in the early days of NASA, women were kept out of the astronaut program. No matter that the women tested were shown to have a greater tolerance to isolation then the men. No matter that it is more cost effective to send women into space because they typically weigh less. None of that mattered at the time. Read this book to find out the reasons, which really were no more than bad excuses. What you discover may be surprising.
This book is well written and has a lot of great photographs. While reading I was entirely interested and felt excited, angry, sad, exhilarated, vindicated and so very proud. I am going to stay Earth bound, but I am happy that there are women, and men, who are willing to go and explore beyond our planet for all of us. Oh, and I am also thankful.
~ The author includes a lot of great references to read more about the Mercury 13 and the women who came after.
Posted in Books, Robert F. Sibert Award | Tagged: Award Winner, History, Non-Fiction | 1 Comment »
Posted by Laura on June 9, 2009
Nobody Owens, Bod for short, lives in the graveyard on the same street where his family was murdered when he was a toddler. Because his family is dead, and the killer, the man Jack, is still looking for him, he is being raised by ghosts. And a guardian.
Bod has been given the Freedom of the Graveyard and as such can see in darkness as well as a bunch of other neat and handy tricks. He learns his alphabet and numbers with the help of gravestones. He learns history from those who had lived it. But one thing the graveyard can’t give Bod is the experience of being with the living.
I always find Neil Gaiman’s writing to be wonderful, and Dave McKean’s illustrations add to the enjoyment. I even like how the text is arranged around the art. Unfortunately, Bod’s clothing in the book doesn’t match up with the clothing in the drawings of him. Where is the grey winding sheet? There. That is my one gripe.
The Graveyard Book is on the Teens Top Ten list for 2009, because a bunch of teens loved it. Not only that, but it won the Newbery Medal for 2009, as well. That means a lot of library people thought it was the best book written for kids and teens last year. It also won the 2009 Hugo award (to honor excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy).
My question to you… What would you have written on your gravestone?
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Posted by Laura on June 9, 2009
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is the winner of the Michael L. Printz award (excellence in young adult literature) for 2009.
After Taylor Markham was been abandoned by her drug addicted mother in a parking lot when she was eleven, she was picked up by a woman, Hannah, who took her to a boarding school. Now Taylor is seventeen and is in charge of one of the houses in the boarding school on Jellicoe Road. Her task is to lead her school in the territory wars with the Townies and the Cadets.
Why did the wars start? Where is Taylor’s mother? Who is her father? And where did Hannah disappear to? And, for my own part, who is who in the book?
I found this to be an interesting read. There are mysteries to be solved and this is one of those books where when you get to the end, you just want to go right back to the beginning to pick up on what you missed the first time through.
Posted in Books, Michael L. Printz Award | Tagged: Award Winner, Realistic Fiction, Secret societies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Laura on April 24, 2008
The American Library Association gives the Alex Award to ten books published for adults that have special appeal for young adults ages 12 to 18. I unknowingly read this 2008 winner a few months ago and blogged about it on our “For your Consideration @ Duluth” blog.
Meet Kvothe, a seemingly benign tavern owner who says it will take him three days to tell the story of his life properly. The tale rapidly moves from his time being trained in magic on the road with his family’s group of traveling players, to his three rough years living on the streets of Tarbean. Once he drags himself out of despair, he needs both his vast intelligence and his street smarts to quickly move up the ranks in the magical University so he can have full access to the Archives. Kvothe is still a teenager in the University when the book ends, but the author has dropped tantalizing nuggets as to what will come.
There is magic and bullies, music and plays, and danger is coming. The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller chronicle, day 1 by Patrick Rothfuss is a thick book at 661 pages, so if you want to really get into a novel, pick up this one. I am waiting for day 2.
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Posted by Laura on March 13, 2008
I just heard that the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released in two parts. The first half will be released in November of 2010, and the final half in May 2011.
I wonder where the plot break will be…
Posted in Movies based on books, Teens Top Ten Winner | Tagged: Award Winner, Fantasy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Laura on November 2, 2007
I’d like to say that Tamora Pierce is an awesome writer! All of her books are very good. Alanna the Lioness is very good example. It’s set in a world, not earth. The book is about how Alanna wants to become a knight but of course girls don’t become knights! So she must disguise herself as a boy. It’s so intriguing to see how she deals with things like strength, women hood, and boys that must not find out the truth. There are four books in the series.
Alanna, In the hand of the goddess, The woman who rides like a man, and Lioness rampant
Tamora also wrote the Trickster’s Choice and the Trickster’s Queen. (they’re together) It’s set in the same world as Alanna the Lioness, but the time is set some years after Alanna’s story. This is how Aly wants to become a spy, like her father, and her adventure to become a spy even though it is against her mothers and fathers better judgment.
This post was from Mackenzie.
Posted in Books, Teens Top Ten Winner | Tagged: Award Winner, Fantasy | 2 Comments »
Posted by Laura on November 2, 2007
Hey me again! GOSH so many books! Ok one more series. This series is probably my favorite series ever except for the Twilight series but someone already wrote about that. Libba Bray another fantastic author Wrote two books so far and is coming out with her third to complete the trilogy. The first is called A Great and Terrible Beauty, the second is called Rebel Angels and the third, that comes out December 26, 2007, the day after Christmas! Is called The Sweet Far Thing. So the setting is somewhere near London, during the Victorian age with big pretty dresses and Huge hats. It’s about four friends who break the rules at Spence Academy for young ladies. Its very good since it’s nicely written and they’re so many things that happen since Gemma, the main Character, can enter a secret Realm, which the book describe as the passing before death filled with magic. Not to mention Gemma’s relationship with a certain gypsy boy… Well if this books sounds interesting i’d look it up for a way better description.
— This post was from Mackenzie.
Posted in Books, Teens Top Ten Winner | Tagged: Award Winner | 4 Comments »
Posted by Laura on August 7, 2007
Eclipse, the third book in Stephenie Meyer’s series is being released today. Have you read the series? The first book is Twilight, the second is New Moon. I know some people who just love it and can’t wait to read the third book.
Posted in Books, Teens Top Ten Winner, Twilight Series | Tagged: Award Winner, Books made into movies, Romance, Vampires | 1 Comment »