Boston Public Library
Teens

Posts Tagged ‘Mitchell Zuckoff’

Lost in Shangri-La – A Review

Posted on August 22nd, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

And so, my Summer Reading has come to an end. I have to say I had a lot of fun picking out books from the list and reading them over the three month span of June, July, and August. However, next year I would lower the number of books I chose to no more than six, two per month so I don’t feel like I’m in a rush to get through them all before the end of August.

With that, here is my final book review for my Summer Reading books. (Rest assured, my book reviews won’t stop, there just won’t be quite so many in each month.)

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This is the story of a sight-seeing army plane that was taking several soldiers and Women in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) over a newly discovered vally in Dutch New Guinea in May of 1945 near the end of World War II. This was uncharted territory, and very hard to fly through because of sharp winds, lots of clouds, and very high mountains that appeared out of nowhere like monsters. The plane crashed, essentially in the middle of nowhere, and only three people survived. But life was not easy for them. They were undercover of a dense forest, where no search plane could see them, and two of the survivors were severely wounded, most of their skin burned off and disease setting in. They were forced to hike to a clearing, and to face the natives, whom it was thought at the time, were cannibals. No one in the Army knew how to get them out of their location. Planes couldn’t fly in, and a hike would be roughly 150 miles of dangerous terrain that no one had ever hiked through before.  This book chronicles the plight of the three survivors, two men and one woman, along with those who risked their lives to get them out. It is also the story of how the natives came to meet the outside world for the first time. These people didn’t know what a radio was. They didn’t even know what a wheel was. They had their own way of life, and had been living it for thousands of years before a plane crash changed everything for them.

What an experience. I can’t imagine what this must have been like for those who survived the crash and for those natives who believed these white people who fell from the sky were spirits. But though Zuckoff’s book, I was able to get a glimpse of things, to see how they surivived, and to see the amazing rescue effort that almost didn’t happen on many occassions. This was a fantastic read and one I would highly recommend to anyone interested in flying or surviving in the jungle. Once I got into this book, I couldn’t put it down!

My Summer Reading List for 2012

Posted on May 29th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

I know most of you reading this will have to read at least one or two books over the summer for school, right? I might not be going back to school next fall, and teachers might not be handing me a list of books I have to read this summer, but a lot of the books on your list are great books. And so, I’ve decided to join you in reading books/authors from the Boston Public Schools list for 2012. Some of the books on this year’s list are books I’ve already read, by authors I love, so instead of rereading the same books, I’ve chosen related books that I’ve been meaning to read for awhile but haven’t gotten around to.

As soon as I’ve finished reading a book, I’ll post a review of it here in the blog so you can check out my progress and see what I thought of each book.

 What am I reading this summer? Here’s my Summer Reading List:

 FICTION

 The following are on, or are related to, books on the BPS Summer Reading List for Grades 9-12.

 -Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

The Overlords came to Earth and brought peace and prosperity with them… but then they began to take the children away from their heritage in the first step to eliminate the human race!

 This is a classic science-fiction novel that I’ve been told all sci-fi writers need to read. Thus, it makes sense that even those who don’t write sci-fi, but love to read it, should read this book too. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but occasionally I like to dabble in writing sci-fi stories, so I’d like to check it out, and hopefully improve my writing by enjoying a good book.

 

 -Doomwyte by Brian Jacques (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

A young mouse, Bisky, and his friends seek a fabled Redwall treasure: the jeweled eyes of the Great Doomwyte Idol, which leads them to the realm of the fearsome Korvus Skurr, the black-feathered raven…

 This is book 20 in the classic fantasy series Redwall. Brian Jacques is my favorite children’s/YA author, and the prequel to this series,  Mossflower, is the book on the official Summer Reading list. It is also my favorite, and most read, book in the entire Redwall series. As I have yet to read Doomwyte, I’ve chosen it for my summer list. When reading this series, there are a total of 22 books, and it does not matter in what order you read them!

 

 

 -Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen’s own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense. But a conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar against the Queen by unknown forces. Talia must protect her and the heir, before danger can strike!

 The official reading list includes Magic’s Pawn, the first book in The Last Herald Mage trilogy by the same author, which I read and loved immensely.  Arrows of the Queen is the first book in her trilogy The Heralds of Valdemar, and while only a few of the characters are the same, it is set in the same kingdom of Valemar as The Last Herald Mage trilogy. I’ve been curious to see if it’s as good as the other, which is why I’ve chosen this book.  

 

 

 -Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (Mystery/Suspense list)

Odd Thomas is a young man with a faithful companion in his dog named Boo. Though they are anything but ordinary. Odd can see the spirits of dead people who are reluctant to move on from this world. And Boo is one such spirit. In the past he has been haunted by nightmares that have come true. In the small California town where he’s currently living, he’s been having the same repeat nightmare. Will it lead to someone’s death? Or will Odd be able to save another’s life?

 The Mystery/Suspense list includes Odd Thomas, the first book in the Odd series about a 19-year-old boy who can see dead people. Odd Hours is the fourth book which I have yet to read, thus, it is one of my reading choices this summer.

 

 NON-FICTION

 Three of the non-fiction titles I’ve chosen were on a Summer Reading List in 2011 when they caught my eye. Since then, I’ve been looking for an excuse to dive into them, even though they are no longer required reading for school. Those books are:

 

-A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

A memoir of the Vietnam War.

 

-Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

A minute-by-minute account of the first sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War in 1993.

 -Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

This is a true tale of survival, adventure, and the most incredible rescue mission of World War II.

 

A Little Big Life by Dean Koontz

This was a last-minute addition to the list in place of The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding, which is not in print in the states yet. This book is a “Memoir of a Joyful Dog” and is written by the author of one of the fiction books I’m also reading, so I thought it would be fitting to read this joyful little tome.

 

So, in total, I have chosen to read 8 titles this summer between June 1st and August 31st. I’m not sure how far I’ll get, or in what order I’ll be reading them, but check back here for any reviews I post to see where I am in this list and what I have left to go.