Thursday, October 30, 2014

Double You by Shane Peacock

I ordered the sequels to the Seven Series at the first of the month and I have been trying to work my way through them. The only problem is I have to share the books with my class. This one, many of the kids said I had to read because something very shocking happens on page 41. I was dying to find out what, especially after going last week and hearing all of the authors speak in Port Hope. I still have a student reading my copy, but I borrowed this one from another student in my class. Double You is the story of Adam who is terribly upset that his grandfather might not be the wonderful man everyone thought he was. Adam learned a great deal from the adventure his grandfather sent him on in the first book. Now, he is trying to constantly be 'good' Adam, even when 'bad' Adam wants to keep appearing. Adam is trying to prove his grandfather was not a traitor, even when all evidence leads to the fact that he might be. Adam travels from Bermuda to New York City to Jamaica in search of the truth about his grandfather. Along the way he meets an intriguing girl named Angel Dahl and needs to escape from some very dangerous men. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the adventures that Adam faced and I like what a good guy he really is. I felt that when I finished this book that there is more to Adam's story and I am really hoping there will be a third book written by Peacock. I also talked to several of the boys in my class today who are reading or who have read this book and they are loving it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

I have two favourites when it comes to reading- I love reading any new dystopian or alternative reality books and I love reading anything by Eric Walters. When I saw this new book by Walters I was very surprised- my favourite author and my favourite genre! The Rule of Three isn't a typical Walters book, he tends to write more realistic fiction but boy did he hit it out of the park with this one. The Rule of Three is the story of a world where one afternoon, everything that runs on computers stops working. That includes electricity, cars and of course computers. Luckily for Adam, he drives an older model car so he is actually able to get home from school. What he thinks is going to be a short term inconvenience, turns out to be a global disaster. As days without computers turns to weeks, Adam, his family and his community must find a way to survive. Along the way, Adam has help from his mysterious next door neighbour who seems to have experienced all of this before. Adam, his neighbour Herb and his mother who is a police officer are suddenly thrown into positions of having to make decisions, not just for their own survival but for their whole community. This novel is fast paced and exciting. It had me question the amount of food I have in my house, to how I could survive something like this. I loved Adam- he had to adapt and change to a very strange situation and he did it so well. As with all Walters books, the characters are believable and likeable. It also reminds me a bit of Suzanne Weyn's novel Empty. I can't wait to share this book with students on Monday. If I can get them out of the Seven Series, they will love this one as well! I am hoping there will be a sequel to this, I feel like Adam's story is not quite over yet!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Coda by Ted Staunton

Coda is another book in the sequels to the Seven Series. After David McLean's grandsons discover a mysterious package at his cottage, most of the grandsons head out to discover whether their grandfather was a spy or not. But not Spencer, all he wants to do on Christmas vacation is keep his brother Bunny safe and hang out with the girl he likes - AmberLea who is visiting from Buffalo. But of course life is not that easy! When Spencer and Bunny go skating, things start to unravel very quickly. Bunny goes missing and now Spencer is trying to keep him from being thrown back in jail. All Spencer wants his his brother back, but he is thrown into the world of spies, kidnapping and terrorist plots. I enjoyed reading Spencer's story a great deal. There was always some crazy adventure and of course Spencer isn't really the hero type of guy. He bumbles around a bit in his curling sweater and admits to being afraid a great deal of the time. The other thing I really enjoyed about this story was all of the familiar places he went to. It is very interesting to be able to read about a place you have been, it makes visualizing the story much easier! A lot of the boys in my class have been really enjoying Coda- and I can see the appeal. Staunton has written an action novel that has a twist at every turn. I'm really looking forward to hearing all of the author's in Port Hope tonight!

Sleeper by Eric Walters

This is the first book that I picked up when the sequels to the Seven Series were published. My class had just finished reading Between Heaven and Earth, so I was ready to read more about D.J.'s adventures. When David McLean's grandsons head to the cottage just after Christmas, they discover that their grandfather might not be the man they thought he was. All the evidence leads the boys to believe that he was a spy. The boys decide they need to discover the truth about their grandfather and head out to follow the clues he has left behind. D.J. heads to England where his friend Doris who he met climbing Mount Killimanjaro lives. While there, D.J. finds himself wrapped up in an adventure very unlike his climbing adventure. He is suddenly involved with spies, espionage and trying to figure out how his grandfather fits into all of this. Of course there are one or two perks of being there- a vintage car and a beautiful girl. This book has not stayed on my book shelves since I bought two copies of it. My class whole class is waiting anxiously for the next person to finish the book so that they can read it. The boys are really enjoying the adventure and excitement in the story. While I enjoyed the adventure, to me it didn't feel like D.J. was the same character he was in Between Heaven and Earth. His first adventure was filled with lots of life lessons. Sleeper was much faster moving and action packed. All I know is that my kids are loving it- and that is all that matters!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Several years ago I read The Mockingbirds and The Rivals by Daisy Whitney and really loved them, so I was excited when I read about her newest book When You Were Here. When You Were Here is about a young man who has just lost his mother to cancer. Danny's mother has always promised that she was hanging on for his high school graduation, but when she dies just two months before this important date, Danny spins out of control. He feels that his life is without purpose and direction. When his high school sweetheart (who is also his mother's best friends daughter) comes home from college, Danny is drawn to her, but at the same time is very afraid she too will leave him again. Danny has some big decisions to be made- about the homes his mother owns, what to do with his time and his future. When Danny decides to return to Tokyo- a city that brings back wonderful memories of his mother, he finds clues to his mothers last days, and clues to how he can start carrying on after his loss. This book was difficult to read at times. I can't imagine how Danny must feel after the death of his mother. Many of his reactions seem completely normal and understandable, yet they are also very dangerous. As Danny learns more about how his mother chose to live out her last days, he also starts to find a strength to carry on. But reading this journey was very difficult as well. There were also some mature parts in here that means I won't have this in my grade 7 classroom- but for high school students, I would strongly suggest reading this book.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Some Boys by Patty Blount

I cannot believe how long it has taken me to blog about this book. I read it last weekend and absolutely loved it. I mean really loved it. I have been talking it up all week and have about 4 kids dying to read it, but I wanted to keep it to blog about first. I am a bit hesitant to have this in my grade 7 classroom because it deals with a very mature topic (sexual assault). But it was so beautifully written that I cannot keep it out of my classroom. I will however make sure that I notify parents if their child picks it up. Some Boys is a story about Grace. Grace is in grade 12 and has always had a great group of friends. Grace is a confident young woman who dresses as she wants and doesn't make excuses for who she is. But, when she is raped by Zac- the most popular boy in the school- she is the one who is shunned and blamed. Grace doesn't understand why people don't believe her, but also why they insist it was her fault. On the exterior, Grace is tough as nails, but this event has led to panic attacks and depression. When Grace is forced to spend time with Ian- one of Zac's best friends, she is afraid to be alone with him and afraid he too will shun her. But through their week together, Ian starts to see Grace in a new light, and Zac as well. He realizes that he may have misinterpreted many different events. This story needs to be read by not only girls, but boys as well. The events that take place in this book are events that I can see easily happening at any high school. Patty Blount brings up many issues that make this book the perfect book for literature circles. I can't wait for people to read it so I can discuss it. For my high school friends- you've got to go out and buy this book right now!