Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Imagine forgetting four years of your life. Naomi falls down the steps outside her school and gets a head injury that leaves her physically healthy, but with no memories after sixth grade. Her family and friends have to tell her a lot of things—like the name of her boyfriend, the fact that her parents are divorced, and that she is co-editor of the school yearbook. It's rough at first, but it gives Naomi a chance to re-invent herself. She dumps the boyfriend, quits yearbook, acts in a school play, and fights with her former best friend, a guy named Will who clearly adores her. By the end of this book I was really into her story and the choices she was making. When you read it you can't help but think about the choices you might make if you could forget the past and start fresh. There's a lot of romance here, and also some mature themes, so I recommend it to 8th graders on up.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Christopher Paul Curtis's books are generally outstanding, so I was excited to get my copy of this one. It's the story of a community of escaped slaves who live just across the Canadian border in the 1800s. Elijah is a boy known for two things—being the first free-born citizen of Buxton and for throwing up on Frederick Douglass (a famous ex-slave who came to town when Elijah was younger). At first this book seemed kind of like a slice-of-life story about how Elijah was "fra-gile" and was afraid of all kinds of things. There were funny, folksy stories about him and the incidents that happened in Buxton. As the book went on, though, I realized that the author was just setting us up for an amazing, tragic finish. Everything came together in a heartbreaking final incident. You'll just have to read it to understand what I'm talking about. If you stick with this book to the end you are guaranteed to be amazed.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Imagine getting a gift from your father five years after he died. Then imagine not being able to open the gift! That's what happens to Jeremy. A box comes in the mail and the box says "The Meaning of Life" on it. It's meant for him to open on his 13th birthday, but the four keys needed to open it are lost. This is the story of how Jeremy and his best friend Lizzie search for the keys that will open the box. Along the way they get arrested and forced to do community service for an old man who was a pawn broker. They have all kinds of new experiences and learn a little about the real meaning of life before they get the box open. This is a fun book that both guys and girls would like, and it gives you a lot to think about as you read.