Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pretty Girl 13 by Liz Coley

Angie disappeared on a camping trip several years ago and walks into her parents’ house now, three years older, with thick scars around her ankles and no explanation.  She is unaware that three years have passed and she has no memory of what has happened.  While not an urban book by any stretch, teen girl readers at Belmont continue to clamor for this book, drawn in by the horror, mystery and suspense of Angie’s situation.  Teachers and counselors will want to know that this novel includes instances of sexual abuse and a gentle exploration of Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID).  Back matter includes an author’s note explaining her authorial decisions and suggested resources for more information.  Recommended for independent reading for teens and bookclubs for teen girls. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Coley, Liz.  Pretty Girl 13.  New York: HarperCollins, 2013.  Print.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tom Sawyer (All-Action Classics #2) adapted by Tim Mucci, illustrated by Rad Sechrist

With simple, expressive art and judicious text, this graphic novel adaptation brings the mischief and imagination of Tom Sawyer’s world to vivid life.  Though the format necessitates abridgement, the author and artist manage to include plenty of Tom’s famous adventures - from tricking his friends into whitewashing Aunt Polly’s fence to clearing Muff Potter of murder charges.  This volume is an engaging and accessible introduction to the classic novel and has brought more than one comics-loving student into the library asking, “Do you have any more books like this?”  Backmatter includes a brief and informative biography of Mark Twain, as well as a selected bibliography of his works.  Recommended for avid readers of graphic novels, ready for a new challenge, and for classroom use, as an introduction to Tom Sawyer, or a comparative counterpoint. --Regan Schwartz

Mucci, Tim. All-Action Classics #2: Tom Sawyer. New York: Sterling Publishing, 2008. Print.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander

Omar has just been named Mr. Football of South Carolina and can’t wait to announce his plans to play for Miami when he crosses paths with Claudia, a.k.a. Beyonce, the hottest Harvard-bound senior in his high school.  Omar bets his friends that he can win over Claudia, who has declared her absolute disinterest in high school boys, especially anyone with a reputation as a “panty-dropper.”  This novel, narrated by Omar and Claudia in alternating chapters, includes text messages and Facebook posts to tell a story of teenage romance intertwined with an activist-themed plot involving a fight against budget cuts to arts and library funding.  Recommended independent reading for high school students looking for a love story like Dana Davidson’s sadly out-of-print Played. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Alexander, Kwame.  He Said, She Said.  New York: Amistad, 2013.  Print.