So... do you hate or love a book that is clearly a Hunger Games wannabe? Who could blame an author for wanting to cash in on the Hunger Games fever and be the one who offered up the next serving of teen vs. teen competition to the death? Charbonneau has done just that, and with just enough differences to make it an eerily similar but still very interesting read.
After the Seven Stages war, the world is a complete mess; wasteland where almost nothing will grow, freakishly mutated animals including humans that live beyond the borders of the Colonies, and water so badly polluted that some sections are beyond cleansing. All of the children living in the colonies study furiously, hoping desperately that they will be the one selected as a candidate for the Testing, a mysterious procedure that culls a large group of children down to a small, elite group who get to attend the University and become the future leaders of the United Commonwealth. Cia Vale, and her childhood friend and crush, Tomas Endress are both chosen, and on the night before she is to leave for the Testing, Cia finds out from her father that he fears for her safety, and wishes she wasn't going. Refusal to attend is punishable by death, so of course she has no alternative but to participate, but now it is not the joyful experience she anticipated.
The actual testing consists of four phases; the first phase a series of written tests, the second phase involving a puzzle box and a problem, the third phase a team activity, and the fourth phase a practical cross country trial involving all of the remaining students. It is the fourth phase that most reminded me of the Hunger Games, but the morality of Cia and her reluctance to harm her fellow competitors is present throughout the entire book.
I guarantee this book is going to fly off the shelves, and, at the risk of sounding like so many desperate publishers, I do believe this is a perfect read for lovers of the Hunger Games. If you enjoyed the Hunger Games, get yourself a copy of The Testing a.s.a.p. You won't regret it!
Eleven-year-old Akira, eight-year-old Shigeru, and four-year-old Yuki must fend for themselves after their mother abandons them to be with a new boyfriend. Initially she is gone for about a month, and then later, after she's been gone many months, it becomes apparent to Akira that she is never coming back. The story was inspired by true events in Tokyo, which made it all the more heart breaking to read. I won't spoil anything for you, but I will tell you that I despised the ending! It left me shaking my head and wondering HOW an author could end a story the way it ended. Now that a bit of time has passed since I finished the book, I realize that the ending might be exactly the way the real events transpired.
I really liked the idea of this book - a girl loses her mother in a tragic accident, and then, almost a year later, when the girl is cleaning up her mom's "studio" she finds her cell phone, with seven different messages which the mom never had a chance to hear. When Luna starts listening to the messages, which she feels is the ONLY thing to do, she finds out more and more about her mom that she didn't know.
It sounded great when I read the back but after the beginning to establish the setting, it really dragged for me in parts. I also don't enjoy books that just drift into an ending. There's no tight resolution, no significant character development, no aha moments.... overall, the ending really ruined the entire book for me.
There will be some grade eight girls who will enjoy it, but I won't be pushing it too hard.
I picked this book up because I enjoyed MacHale's Pendragon series, and I love science fiction.
Tucker is the back up player for a senior tailback named Marty Wiggins, and Tucker is one of the last people to talk to Wiggins before he dies on the football field of unknown causes. Freaked out by what Wiggins said and how he looked, Tucker convinces his best friend, Quinn Carr to go for a late night bike ride. The boys see some kind of huge dark shadow out over the water, and then witness an incredible explosion. The next day, military personal descend onto their island, and quarantine the entire island indefinitely. Shortly after that, a second citizen dies in a similar fashion to Wiggins. The boys want answers, but no one is giving them any.
This is a fast moving adventure - one that I think decent male readers will enjoy.
This was a highly enjoyable second book which was refreshing because often second books disappoint me. Cinder breaks out of prison (I love how this girl keeps saving herself and taking action rather than just moaning and complaining about how tough her life is), but takes a fellow inmate with her. Meanwhile, Scarlet, a new character has a missing grandmother and teams up with "Wolf" in order to find her. Meanwhile the Commonwealth has figured out that Cinder is awol and is determined to either shoot her, or kill her. She has to be captured or the prince will have to face the wrath of the Queen Levana, who wishes him ill will.
Christopher Lane, the main character has been neglected for most of his twelve year old life. His mother hasn't been the same since his father died seven years ago. She just sits in front of the television and makes no attempt whatsoever to look after Christopher or herself. He has learned some survival skills such as thieving and lying in order to ensure that he has food to eat. The school he attends does not like him, and when the story starts he has stolen money from a teacher and she knows it. While he is being suspended, Miss Sonata from the Myers-Holt Academy shows up to interview all the students who are twelve. She quickly ascertains that Christopher is just what she is looking for and she later convinces him to have an interview, and later convinces him to join the school. He becomes part of an elite team of children whose job is to battle evil. He meets some interesting children who have strengths that are different than his but equally valuable, and he learns how to use the gift he has which is being able to get inside people's minds. The children are quickly pressed into service when twin brothers Ernest and Mortimer start causing problems.
I enjoyed the book, but will probably not remember it in sufficient details by the time book two comes out. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of Christopher learning how to control his passage inside someone's brain, and the boxes or compartments that contained various things such as Fears and Phobias. This book would be enjoyable to a decent reader at an early intermediate (grade six) level.
Normally this isn't my type of book AT ALL, but I loved it. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the descriptions and reading passages to whomever happened to be nearby! The similes and metaphors are fresh and powerful and the humor is believable. I think Smale's modeling experience shines through in her writing. It's her insightful observations of human nature that makes the book so darn funny.
Definitely an author I'm going to follow and I'll be putting a couple copies of this title on our library shelves.
Harriet Manners does not intend to break her best friend's heart by landing the career opportunity that Nat has dreamed of her whole life. She does not set out to make her parents angry with her and she certainly doesn't mean to downplay their roles as parents, but she does all of this and more in Smale's hilarious debut novel.
This is the perfect book for girls who want a little bit of humor, a little romance, and a whole lot of laughing out loud as you turn the pages!
Do you have or know a middle-school aged child who suffers from anxiety? Well then, I recommend having a copy of Freaking Out by Polly Wells available in your classroom. Freaking Out starts with an excellent introduction into what anxiety is, and how it differs from fear. The remainder of the book contains 13 true short stories written by teens and preteens who have had a serious anxiety issue AND dealt with it.
Freaking Out will be on my school library shelf for a couple reasons. First, it will be useful/handy to GIVE to someone suffering anxiety so they can relate their experiences to the examples in the book. I'm thinking specifically of a lovely girl at my school who is deathly afraid of dogs. She will love to read The Enemy Next Door about a boy who was terrified of dogs and what happened to him. A second reason this book garners shelf space is because it could easily be used in a character ed lesson. Teachers could read aloud using the chapters like case studies, and pause to discuss what could or should or might have been done differently to help lessen the anxiety for that particular person. The "case studies" are really interesting, and will hopefully foster empathy in your room. Students need exposure to interesting non-fiction stories that help highlight the diversity in our world and this book helps fill that niche.
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
Just didn't enjoy it as much as Shadow and Bone. I just felt like the author was really trying a bit too hard to draw this story out. I was able to put it down several times and I couldn't put Shadow and Bone down so there's the differen...
The Grisha triology is a fantasy series that I really enjoyed. I reread the last book because I thought I wasn't remembering something. I'm a bit confused because I've started King of Scars and Nikolai isn't as I remembered. Don't want...
by Tahereh Mafi
I’m not usually someone who enjoys a story that is predominantly about the attraction between two people BUT I did like this one. The setting is one year after 9/11 and 16 year old Shirin, an American born Muslim whose family moves freq...
I love a good mystery, and although I correctly guessed the murderer in the first chapter, I still thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns.