Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cut by Patricia Mc Cormick

Book Review: Cut

Author: Patricia McCormick

AR: 5.0

The first time 15 year old Callie cuts herself she is running in a track meet. She becomes so involved with running that everything around her seems to wash her out. She then finds herself at home and using her mom's Exacto knife to cut her wrist. She doesn't cut too deep but just enough to feel her body release the anger and frustration that she has built up inside. The anger and frustration that is caused from a family life that is unstable. Callie's mom has no time for her because she is always consumed by Sam and his illness. Callie's father is always busy working.

When her mom finds out what she is doing, she sends Callie to a residential treatment facility...Sick Minds as the other residents call it. Callie doesn't cut herself to commit suicide, but simply to feel the rush that her body goes through. At Sea Pines, Callie meets other young girls who are going through similar things as she is. However, they don't all cut themselves. Some are there for eating disorders, mental problems, etc. Callie has a hard time fitting in since she doesn't speak. She goes through therapy and listens to all the other girls gush out their feelings and frustrations. However, Callie does not. She simply sits there and stares out the window thinking to herself why she is there.

As part of therapy, Callie must attend counseling sessions. Every time she meets with the counselor, it is the couselor who always tries to prompt Callie to speak and to tell her what is bothering her. In turn, Callie just sits there in silence for an hour every session. So many thoughts run through her mind that she just wants to blurt out but even thinking about telling the counselor her thoughts exhausts her.

Callie goes through treatment and has has her ups and downs. The reader is easily wrapped up in her situation because it is told from first person point of view. Callie has several breakthroughs and really learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

I highly recommend this book for high school students. Many of my patrons have read this book and have all said they really like it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Harmless by Dana Reinhardt

Book Review: Harmless

Author: Dana Reinhardt



WOW! I really enjoyed reading this book.

Three unlikely friends: Emma, Anna and Mariah come up with a crazy lie that turns into something more than what they expected. Emma and Anna have been BFF's for a long time and have been inseparable. When Mariah comes into the picture she seems to gravitate more to Anna. Mariah is a "popular" student at their relatively private school.

The three Freshman girls are invited to Mariah's senior boyfriends' house for a party which will involve alcohol and boys. Emma and Anna agree and all three decide to cover their bases with the parents saying they are going to the local theater then for a sleep over. When the dreaded phone call from Emma's mom comes in, the girls realize that they are in trouble.

To cover up their partying, the girls conceive up a plan that will will eventually get so big they can not handle it. Their plan: Emma was attacked by a man in the park on their "way home" from their movie. They all felt that since no one was hurt, the families would believe it and then drop the whole thing.

BUT-things quickly spin out of control and the one small lie eventually snowballs into something so big that each one has their own way of handling the situation. This one little lie puts strains on their friendship, family and the community. Things get more difficult when the cops get involved and by chance a young girl in a local community goes missing. The community rallies together to find this missing girl all the while their focus on Emma gets greater and greater...

The story is told in each girls' voice and gives the reader a sense of their thoughts and feelings.

I was hooked when I read this book. It details the impact of friendship and how far three friends will go to cover up their night of fun.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Poet and author Sara Holbrook will be visiting Taft Junior High campus on Monday, May 11, 2009. We are looking forward to her visit and I will be posting pictures and more information later that day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Booktrailer for HOMEBOYZ by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

INFO about Booktrailer for HOMEBOYZ by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

I contacted Alan Lawrence Sitomer to get permission on using the front cover of the book and he enthusiastically said yes. I was a bit nervous in putting this together because I've sent him a link to it... *yikes*


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homeboyz by Alan Lawrence Sitomer Book Review

Book Review: Homeboyz
Author: Alan Lawrence Sitomer

AR Points: 9.0

When Teddy's little sister is shot and killed by a gang member, Teddy seeks revenge on them. He carefully plans his revenge all to have it foiled by a store owner. He is sent to California's tough prision. After spending time there, his court appointed attorney enrolls him in a new program that allows him to be put under house arrest. Along with that he is to mentor a young troubled boy.

Teddy, a very intelligent boy, has a tough time getting to Micah, his court appointed mentee. Micah is a wanna be gang member and has noone to call family, home or friends.

Using his intelligence and technology skills, Teddy hacks into the court appointed system and plans a plot that will bring down the gang members that shot and killed his little sister.

Teddy learns some things about Micah that are unreal to him. Will Teddy be successful in finding out the true murderer? Will Micah be the healing factor that Teddy and his family need?

Digital Booktrailer for The Afterlife by Gary Soto