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Summer Reading Book Reviews by Teens at DYS

Posted on July 31st, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens

Some teens in the Department of Youth Services are participating in the teen summer reading program by reading books and writing reviews for our blog.  Here are some of those reviews:

 

coldest winter everThe Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

Review by B.

The book is about a girl named Winter Santiaga.  Her father was a big hustla in Brooklyn, NY.  Everything was going fine until her father got busted because the people he was working with told on him.  After than happened Winter and her family struggled throughout their life.  I liked this book.  The reason I liked it was because it explains how people struggled and how good things come to an end and everything that happens in the dark comes out in the light one day.  I would recommend this book to a friend.

NelsonMandela

Nelson Mandela by Allan Trussell-Cullen

Review by B.

I just read Nelson Mandela.  I enjoyed the book very much.  Nelson Mandela was a good leader.  I can relate to him because he was in prison.  He always kept his beliefs in prison.  He fought for his country and changed laws making people free and equal.  The book inspired me to not fight and to think about issues.  He believed in talking to people.

 

a matter of trustA Matter of Trust by Anne Schraff

Review by R.

Darcy Wills is a student at Bluford high school with one special friend Brishana Meeks.  Their friendship is put to the test when Brishana gets made and jealous of Darcy being friends with “the zeros” because she doesn’t like them.  Ever since then they have been enemies and the tension gets worse when Darcy learns that Brisana is after her boyfriend Hakeen.  Darcy is tired of being calm and being nice so she is now triggered with the thought Brisana and knows she wants to do something so she takes things to the next level.

 

search for safetySearch for Safety by Paul Langan

Review by R.

Ben McKee is a kid who lives with his mother.  Suddenly his mother is all in love with her boyfriend Larry and they are getting married.  So Ben and his mother leave a great home to an even “greater one” (as his mother thinks).  But all that changes when Ben’s stepfather starts leaving bruises on his mother’s body and it gets even worse when Larry starts putting his hands on Ben.  Ben then gets a job to try and stay out of the house as long as he can but then his stepfather starts taking his money.

schooled

Schooled by Paul Langan

Review by R.

Lionel Shephard is a really good basketball player.  His dad doesn’t pay him very much attention with all of his work and his mom is out of town on work duty.  Lionel cannot read and his teachers really don’t know that so Lionel has to read and is save by the bell but over the weekend he has to prepare himself for the upcoming Monday of reading. Lionel is fed up and moves out of his house and moves in with his friend but his friend is just a party freak so he introduces Lionel to drinking and he ends up in the hospital.

no way out

No Way Out by Peggy Kern

Review by R.

Harold goes to Bluford high and is a freshman that lives with his grandmother.  After his grandmother has a very hard fall down her apartment stairs Harold is threatened with take out of his grandmother’s custody.  With the threat of that Harold also has been scared with medical bills that need to be paid so he gets a job but no sooner does Harold get a job, he turns to the biggest drug dealer on the streets.

caught up in the drama

Caught up in the Drama by Reshonda Tate Billingsly

Review by R.

Camille is a part of the good girlz and they’ve been best friends for a while.  But she’s never told them she has a talent and that is her voice.  Camille can sing and she gets picked to be in the Sisco’s (a rapper) new video.  Camille loses her boyfriend and closest friends because of her new attitude.  Camille has to kiss Sisco and with kissing Sisco things get deeper when he lifts her leg and is feeling up on her.  She tells him she is uncomfortable and he says that it will be cut from the video but the

My Summer Reading List for 2014!

Posted on May 31st, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

anna[1] avatar

Hi! For those who don’t know me, my name is Anna, and I’m one of the two Teen Librarians at the Central Library here at the BPL. Every summer I select eight books I’d like to read between the months of June and August to be my personal Summer Reading List. Most high school students in the Boston area have a summer reading list, so I thought, why shouldn’t I have one too? Usually the books I choose are titles I’ve been meaning to read for awhile but haven’t managed to get to yet, so this is a good way to catch up on my reading. Sometimes these books do come from a school summer reading list, either from a past list or a current one, but all of them are teen books or have teen appeal. Look out for my book reviews here throughout the summer!

And here is my 2014 list:

FICTION

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Meet little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. In the almost one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they’ve become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers’ imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie.

 

 

 

 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a “dark carnival” one Autumn midnight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

 

The Crystal Cave

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

Fifth century Britain is a country of chaos and division after the Roman withdrawal. Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess who will not reveal to her son his father’s true identity, Myridden Emrys — or as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man’s-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon … and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always.

 

 

 

 

The Face Of Fear

The Face Of Fear by Dean Koontz

DON’T LOOK DOWN
Because you’re trapped. With a beautiful, terrified woman. On the 40th floor of a deserted office building. By the psyshopath they call “The Butcher.”
DON’T LOOK DOWN
Because you’re an ex-mountain climber. Because a fall from Everest left you with a bad leg… and a paralyzing fear of heights.
DON’T LOOK DOWN
Because he has slaughtered the guards and short-circuited the elevators. Because the stairways are blocked, and for you and the woman with you, there’s only one escape route.
DON’T LOOK DOWN
Because 600 feet of empty space are looking back at you.

 

 

NON-FICTION

Man O War

Man O’ War: A Legend Like Lightening by Dorothy Ours

Born in 1917, Man o’ War grew from a rebellious youngster into perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time. His trainer said that managing him was like holding a tiger by the tail. His owner compared him to “chain lightning.” His jockeys found their lives transformed by him, in triumphant and distressing ways. All of them became caught in a battle for honesty.

 

 

 

 

 

The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer, Translated by Robert Fagles

The Odyssey is literature’s grandest evocation of everyman’s journey through life. In the myths and legends that are retold here, renowned translator Robert Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer’s original in a bold, contemporary idiom and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, and to captivate a new generation of Homer’s students.

NOTE: I have also acquired an audio cassette edition of this translation read by the famed actor, Ian McKellen. It is my hope, to listen to him read aloud as I follow along with the book in print.

 

 

 

Wilfred Owen biogrpahy

Wilfred Owen: A New Biography by: Dominic Hibberd

Mr. Hibberd’s new biography of the Great War’s greatest poet, based on more than thirty years of wide-ranging research, brings new information and reinterpretation to virtually every phase of Owen’s life carefully guarded by family and friends after his death.

Book Reviews! The Reformed Vampire Support Group & Shiver

Posted on November 2nd, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This is the story of real vampires. They don’t sparkle. They don’t run fast. They don’t have superhuman strength. They’re just not cool. Instead, they’re constantly sick. They throw up a lot. They’re weak. They must avoid sunlight and drink the blood of guinea pigs to keep themselves going.

Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? But what happens when one of their own is killed and the slaying leads to an illegal werewolf fighting ring? Wait… werewolves exist? Yep. They change shape with the full moon and don’t have any health hangups. Lucky them.  So now it’s up to a bunch of weak vampires to travel a far distance, in daylight, to save the life of a werewolf and capture the humans believed to have slayed a vampire.

For those of you who might remember, I actually read the sequel to this book first several months ago, which focused on the werewolves, rather than the vampires. I have to say, I enjoyed The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group much better than this one. This was good, but it took me about ten chapters to get into it. I needed to see some action, and with sick characters who can barely do anything, it took awhile for anything to actually happen. That was my biggest problem with the book. Once the story got going and the pace picked up, it was a very enjoyable read.  

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Grace was bitten by werewolves when she was a child. But she never turned into a wolf. Instead, as a teenager, she keeps an eye on the wolf pack that roam the woods just outside her house, especially on the one wolf with the yellow eyes who saved her life the day she was bitten. But when another teenager is attacked and killed, the men of the small town go on a hunting spree in order to kill the nuisance wolves. Grace arrives home to find a boy on her deck, bleeding out from a gun shot wound which heals almost instantly. She recognizes his yellow eyes as that of the wolf who’s been watching her for years from the woods. His name is Sam and he’s a werewolf struggling to hold onto his human body just so he can be with Grace. However, the colder it gets outside, the more his body wants to shift to keep him warm. Then all hell breaks loose when he learns how he was picked to be bitten as a child, as more and more teens are becoming werewolves and the older wolves are making their final shift into their wolf form for the rest of their lives. Is there a cure for Sam and the other newly changed humans? Can they even find the new wolves before they wreck havoc on the town and its inhabitants? And what will happen to the love between Sam and Grace if Sam makes his final shift into wolf forever?

This is the first book in a series. The second is titled Linger, and a third is on its way to the printing presses. I enjoyed every moment of this book! It was a fast read with the chapters flipping the point of view between Sam and Grace. Most of the chapters were short, which seemed to make the book go by that much faster. I loved the way she treated the werewolf myths, that instead of shifting on a full moon, they shifted when it got cold out. They are humans during the late sprint, summer, and early fall, before shifting to wolf to keep warm. This was a richly built world you can step into as if you were going through the closet to Narnia. A fantastic read I would highly recommend!

Most Recent Staff Book Reviews!

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

These are the most recent staff reviews of teen books. All staff reviews can be found under the above tab “Librarians Read Too!”, but I thought I would highlight the recent ones here, so you know they exist, that we’re still reading teen books. We always read teen books.

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This book is crazy and insane all at once. It’s the story of a boy who finds himself kidnapped after getting drunk at his friend’s party and attempting to walk home alone. Going to England for a few weeks to see if he wants to attend a boarding school, he’s given a pair of glasses from a stranger. These glasses show him a war-torn world where he’s forced to fight against his best friend.

In short, this book is one insane ride. It’s like getting hooked on drugs… but without the drugs. You’ll find yourself sucked into the world of Marbury, and unable to leave, similar to the characters in the book. I highly recommend it.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Do you like fancy parties, flappers, stage performances, rich dresses, a little side romance, along with a dish of violence?  Then this is the series for you. This book, the first in a new series, was a truly fantastic read set in 1920′s New York City. It’s the story of two young girls who move to the city to find themselves and make a name for themselves. Set in a time when it was illegal to sell or drink alcohol, these girls find their way into the speakeasies of the city and into the homes of the greatest alcohol sellers of the time. What they find there, both surprises and scares them. It’s a truly great read, a page turner that’s garunteed to keep you reading late into the night!

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinx

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This book is the sequel to The Reformed Vampire Support Group also written by Catherine Jinx. Not having read the first book, I didn’t feel out of place at all. In fact, I rather enjoyed this book. It wasn’t cheesy, and the only mention of “mates” was because it was set in Austraila where everyone calls each other “mate”. It was funny, some parts were scary, his mother was annoying in that way that only a mother can be, and his friends, new and old were pretty cool. I would love to recommend this book to anyone looking for a werewolf book that’s a little out of the ordinary. My favorite quote from the book?

“Barry can’t be the first vampire who’s fanged a werewolf. And the whole ideas of zombies must have come from somewhere.” -The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group