Sunday, September 28, 2008


So this writer used to be (might still be) a lawyer...and you know I have a penchant for those types of people. Christina Meldrum did a spectacular job with Madapple and I cannot recommend enough that you read this book for yourself. Since the content is a little bit mature, I would leave this text to high school readers. However, it was very compelling and I was glad to be on a plane for three hours so that I could get it all wrapped up without interruption.

The story goes back and forth between narative and courtroom drama.
Did Aslaug kill who they say she killed? And it takes about half way through to figure out who they say she killed. It is well worth the investment. By the end of the book you cannot imagine finding yourself in a crazier world and for a moment you might wonder what is the real truth.

Aslaug was raised by her mother in a very secluded way. She was home schooled and was handed a great education. However, she had no interaction with other kids her age and with other people in general. When her mother dies of cancer, Aslaug is left to figure out life on her own. She eventually finds her way to other family, family that she didn't know existed, family that lives in the same town. But this does not create the happy ending that it should. This family is part of a religious group that sees Aslaug's return to the fold as a prophecy. When Aslaug turns up pregnant (a virgin birth)? the prophecy unfurls and the dogmatic relationships intensify.

Filled with twists and turns and coutroom manuscripts, readers will definitely be invested in this character and the murkey depths of her life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Mistake!!

Can you imagine anything more horrible than this scenario:

Two best friends, alike in both size & appearance, get into a horrible car accident. When the paramedics pull their bodies from the wreckage, the identify the girls incorrectly.
They tell one family that their daughter has died. That family has a funeral, grieves, tries desperately to come to terms with everything.
They tell the other family that their daughter is alive, but that she is in critical condition and will never again be the same.

And then a doctor comes along who matches dental records to the girls...and realizes that they got everything wrong.
One family gets their daughter back. Another family loses a daughter. The process starts again.

That is the premise of Jacquelyn Mitchard's new novel. It is an excellent story with tons of food for thought. Kids will be drawn to the intense elements of the story, but will gain a new perspective on life by the end.
View the book trailer on Mitchard's webpage. Look around while you're there. She's got some very neat novels and some nice features (like a mailing list that keeps you posted on events).

**There is brief sexual content when Maureen tries to sow her oats. However, situationally, it is very appropriate and well written.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hot Lunch

So I recently (as in....two hours ago) finished reading Alex Bradley's most recent book, Hot Lunch.
Here is a link to Alex's blog he claims (on his blogsite) not to be a god, I seriously disagree.

I think what I most appreciate about Alex Bradley is witty writing. There are these great lines buried in the text, so you can't just skim the work, you really have to read it through to find these wonders. Truly funny.

Hot Lunch is about two girls who share a bit of...animosity, shall we say. One thing leads to another in the food fight realm, and the next thing they know, they are in charge of lunch duty. They have to serve and prepare the Hot Lunch selection at their school.
Through their preparations, research, and time together, the girls branch out and make some friends, as well as learn quite a bit about nutrition.

Which brings me to my next point: Alex Bradley has some great facts in the "notes" section at the end...that will help teens who are interested in food and healthy eating learn more and empower themselves about dietary decisions.

Not only did I get a cute story about friends, but I also got a cleverly shrouded lesson in nutrition. Bravo, Alex Bradley...Bravo!!

Read this....Buy it for your middle and high school libraries.
And while you're purchasing, check out 24 Girls in 7 Days. The title will intrigue the kids, at least it has in my library, and you will have another great Alex Bradley masterpiece!!