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A Tale Dark and Grimm
A Tale Dark and Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.99
141 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever happened to Hansel and Gretel?, October 11, 2011
This review is from: A Tale Dark and Grimm (Paperback)
What made Hansel and Gretel run away from their house? What happened after they escaped the witch? In this combination of versions of Grimm fairy tales, Adam Gidwitz takes you through Hansel and Gretel's full adventure. In this bloody and gruesome tale, they face the devil, a dragon, a warlock, a witch, death, and many other adventures.

One of my favorite things about his book is that the author often pauses the story to talk to the reader. It is during these parts that the author takes this fantasy/adventure story and makes it funny. The author's humor is contagious!


The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us
The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us
by Tanya Lee Stone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.04
92 used & new from $0.42

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barbie's Biography, October 11, 2011
I never knew there was so much controversy about Barbie until I read Stone's book. To me, Barbie was my favorite childhood play thing- she never made me question my body or make me think I had to be perfect like her; she was the characters in all of my stories, a fashion model, Ken's girlfriend, or anything else I wanted her to be. However, Stone introduces us to not only Barbie's history, but the controversies that came along with Barbie.

This well researched, interesting, and impartial look at Barbie's history and her impact on us touches on all aspects of Barbie and her story which makes it well worth the read.


The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.99
300 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing adventure series from Rick Riordan, October 11, 2011
Sadie and Carter Kane only see each other 2 times a year- Carter normally stays with his father moving from one place to another studying Egyptology while Sadie lives in London with her grandparents. But this time when Carter and his father go to pick up Sadie, everything seems very odd and everything about this visit is going to be different than any other time: their father has unleashed the 5 great Egyptian gods, got stuck in a sarcophagus, and destroyed a ancient Egyptian artifact- not exactly how they had planned to spend their Christmas eve. And this begins an adventure that they could have never imagined filled with gods & goddesses, baboons, falcons, fruit bats, cats, crocodiles and a man with an inside out face.

The Red Pyramid, like Riordan's Lost Hero, is told from multiple points of view- switching between Carter and Sadie's narrative. I have always been a big fan of multiple narratives because you get insight that you wouldn't get with one 1st person narrator and this book is no exception (the characters even mention it, saying that they are telling this part because they know more about it). I also loved how the book is a "transcript of a recording" so throughout Sadie and Carter talk to each other and the interaction is quite funny- the two of them together are quite funny in general.

Rick Riordan is a genius at intertwining an amazing adventure with mythology, teaching the reader while taking them on an amazing ride.


Anna and the French Kiss
Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.12
99 used & new from $2.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Anna and the French Kiss, October 11, 2011
This book has a bad case of a cover and summary that does not portray the uniqueness and awesomeness of this book. To be honest, if I hadn't heard how great it was (especially from Mr. John Green himself), I probably would have not picked up this book, but I am so glad that I did. Because I LOVED IT! It was hilarious, realistic (mostly), heart wrenching- everything I wanted it to be and more!

Anna Oliphant (Banana Elephant) is being sent to Paris for her senior year of high school. This sounds like any young girl's dream, but not when she is leaving behind her life long friend and a new boy prospect. But her horribly newly rich father insists that she go and they drop her off and leave. How is she going to survive in this huge city all alone?


Across the Universe
Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.97
102 used & new from $1.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Across the Universe, October 11, 2011
This review is from: Across the Universe (Hardcover)
The first chapter of this books was one of the most intense, descriptive and flat-out painful opening chapters that I've ever read! Well done Beth Revis! Way to make the reader feel the desperation and pain right from the start so we cannot put the book down!

This is one of those books that has it all, but it didn't feel over the top to me. The basis of the book (because of not being able to live on Earth any more, a ship is flying "across the universe" to a new habitable planet) shows that it is obviously sci-fi; however, it doesn't stop there. On the ship, they had frozen people from Earth who would be needed to start the new planet- someone starts unplugging people!! MYSTERY on our hands! And the first girl unplugged is beautiful and Elder loves her- ROMANCE! See it has it all. Now, the dystopian part.... you'll have to read for yourself!! Sorry- it comes out with the mystery and I'm NOT going to give that away.

Beth Revis gives us a world confined to a ship. At the beginning, I caught my self glancing at the maps over and over to see where the characters were, but eventually, the ship comes to life and the setting itself is no longer confusing. Just like with most science fiction books, you have to get used to a new civilization of sorts. The ship Godspeed is run with a hierarchy system where there is one leader who leads all the people (feeders and shippers). Elder is the future leader of the ship and he is the character who co-narrates the novel.


The Mockingbirds
The Mockingbirds
by Daisy Whitney
Edition: Hardcover
108 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A story of everyday superheroes, October 11, 2011
This review is from: The Mockingbirds (Hardcover)
This book, in a way, is a story of superheroes that swoop in and save the day. After Alex, a music prodigy at a boarding school, wakes up naked in a classmates bed, she starts to realize that she was too inebriated the night before to have chosen to be in this situation. As more and more about the night comes back to her, the more her life becomes consumed in fear. At her prep school, most crimes are swept under the rug by administration- their school is perfect in their eyes. Because of this, a couple years ago a underground justice system had been formed called The Mockingbirds. After having the guts to go and talk to The Mockingbirds, Alex begins her journey of recovery, with the help of the superheroes.

Alex, throughout the novel, is so strong! After going through what she did, she could have crumpled and given up. Now, she does go through stages that many women go through after a rape, but through it all she still remains true to herself. Although she avoids the cafeteria and takes different routes to avoid contact with the rapist, she is open to coming to terms and trying to survive and heal after the rape.

Alex's friendships were also key to her ability to heal and survive. It was with the help of two really amazing friends that she began to talk and recover from her rape. It is amazing what friendship can get you through.

This is a very important book. It has a message that is important for teenage boys and girls to hear. It shows that this crime is just that- a crime. "If a person does not say "no," that does not mean he or she said "yes." Silence does not equal consent. Silence could mean fear, confusion, inebriation. The only thing that means yes is yes. a lack of yes is a no."


Awaken
Awaken
by Katie Kacvinsky
Edition: Hardcover
69 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Awaken, October 11, 2011
This review is from: Awaken (Hardcover)
Most dystopian novels don't give you the date that they are taking place and they seem so impossible that we assume it is hundreds of years in the future. Awaken is different. It takes place in 2060 and Katie Kacvinksy gives us a history that goes approximately to the present. And it is a scary, scary history, but mostly because it is probable.

In this world face to face schools no longer exist and all students go to Digital School. Our protagonist is Madeline, the daughter of the inventor of Digital School. Her day consists of interactions almost completely with computers. All of her friends are on the computer, she runs on a treadmill that projects scenery, and even when she "goes out" it is on the computer by watching movies with friends. And she doesn't question a day of it anymore. Then she meets Justin. In real life. He changes everything.

I love that Katie Kacvinsky gave a complete history to us, so that the present day in her novel seems so much more reasonable. It also showed one really negative way that our world could turn if we continue the way we are. The world Madeline lives in, doesn't even have real trees anymore, because no one wants to take the time to take care of them. That sounds so much like our society now, but a little more extreme. Though we have few that fight for the environment, how much would they fight if science finds a way for us to not need, say, trees? That is what has happened in Madeline's world. People stopped fighting.

I also enjoyed that throughout there were journal entries written by Madeline. Through these journal entries, you got to see a side of Madeline that she hid from everyone, including the reader.


Jumped
Jumped
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.36
92 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Jumped, October 11, 2011
This review is from: Jumped (Paperback)
In this multiple perspective novel, it deals with the issue of minding your own business. When is it okay to step in and when do you just let things go? When it means life or death, is it okay to interfere?

In Jumped, Leticia has to decide if she is going to interfere or not. Innocent Trina has just pissed Dominique off and Dominique is going to jump Trina after school. Trina has no idea. Does Leticia tell Trina? Try to stop it? Does she do the right thing or the cool thing?


Dear America: I Walk in Dread
Dear America: I Walk in Dread
by Lisa Rowe Fraustino
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.59
80 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another historical gem from Dear America, October 11, 2011
Dear America is such a great series because it takes historical events, puts the reader right in the middle and makes sure to stay as true as can be to the historical events. I Walk in Dread is no different and actually, it is one of the most accurately historical books about the Salem Witch Trials that I have read. Ms. Fraustino discusses in the afterword how she researched primary sources trying to find the truth behind all of the gossip and myths that exist about the trials.

Deliverance (Liv) Trombley is our narrator and lives with her sister Rememberance (Mem) in a home with their uncle. Their uncle has left to go whaling, so Liv and Mem are holding down the house while waiting for him to return. It is during this time that the witch trials begin. Liv Trombley (Deliverance) is fictional as well as her sister and one other family in the book, most of who she interacts with is not. I found it interesting that she decided to write the diary from the point of view of a girl in the village, not of an accused or accuser, though it allows the reader to see the events from an outside point of view.


The Last Dragon
The Last Dragon
by Jane Yolen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.24
78 used & new from $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A magical story with radiant artwork, October 11, 2011
This review is from: The Last Dragon (Paperback)
Jane Yolen weaves a beautiful retelling of the hero's journey where the hero is a liar and his mentor is *gasp* a girl. Yolen's story is accompanied by amazing artwork that at times is so delicate that it resembles traditional Japanese painting.

There a couple things that I specifically liked about this graphic novel-
1st, I loved the personification that Yolen used to describe the dragon and its surroundings at the beginning of the book: "dragons slept by the ocean's edge, in the green shade of trees that wept their leaves into the water." Phenomenal writing.
2nd, although the 3 sisters were kind of stereotypical for fairy tales (Rosemary: plain and a hard worker, Sage: one beautiful and air headed, Tansy: one hard headed and unique), Sage was entertaining throughout the story. Loved the comic relief. Other puns and humor were thrown in throughout as well such as the name of the town is Meddlesome because everyone quarrels and Yolen would put thought bubbles of what characters were thinking that were hilarious.

This graphic novel is perfect for so many readers and will certainly find a home in many classrooms and probably curricula as well.


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