Friday, February 25, 2011

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

This "beach read"  may help with our winter blues!

Publishers Weekly Review
Anna was best friends with Frankie and her brother, Matt, until all three are in a car accident in which Matt is killed. A year later, Anna and Frankie, struggling to get past Matt's death, head to California with Frankie's parents for a beach vacation, determined to have "the Absolute Best Summer Ever (A.B.S.E)." But Anna has a secret: her friendship with Matt had become an intense romance shortly before the accident, and she cannot determine "the statue of limitations on feeling guilty for cheating on a ghost." Readers will be quickly drawn in and moved by the pain that strains Frankie's family, which ultimately threatens the friends' relationship. The plot takes too long to unfold, however, and teens might be surprised that the title's premise (referring to a bet the girls make that "whoever get the most prospects-wins") almost disappears among other plot points. Still, Ockler's debut is often poetic ("I've replayed the events of that day a hundred thousand times, looking for clues. An alternate ending. The butterfly effect") and the girls' friendship authentic, making for a poignant read.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information

The Week in Rap 2/25/11

Flocab's The Week in Rap from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

In Chicago in 1968, Sam, 14, obeys his father, an eloquent civil-rights leader who is close with Dr. King and is passionately committed to nonviolent protest. But after King is assassinated and Sam witnesses police brutality toward a friend, Sam follows his rebellious older brother, Stephen (Stick), and joins the Black Panthers, whose revolutionary platform is the opposite of the nonviolent philosophy that Sam has been taught at home. Then Sam’s father is stabbed. Will the brothers retaliate with violence? True to the young teen’s viewpoint, this taut, eloquent first novel will make readers feel what it was like to be young, black, and militant 40 years ago, including the seething fury and desperation over the daily discrimination that drove the oppressed to fight back. Sam’s middle-class family is loving and loyal, even when their quarrels are intense; and Magoon draws the characters without sentimentality. Along with the family drama, the politics will grab readers, especially the Panthers’ politicaleducation classes and their call for land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace. 

Booklist starred (February 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 11)

The Week in Rap 2/18/11

The Week in Rap - Feb 18, 2011 from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap

In eighteenth-century Vienna, Austria, fifteen-year-old Theresa seeks a way to help her mother and brother financially while investigating the murder of her father, a renowned violinist in Haydn's orchestra at the court of Prince Esterhazy, after his body is found near a gypsy camp.

The Week in Rap 2/11/11

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Google Just Launched it's Art Project

Google Art Project is truly wonderful!!

You can take walking tours of the following museums: 
  • Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
  • Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C.
  • Frick Collection, New York
  • Gem√§ldegalerie, Berlin
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
  • Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza, Madrid,Spain
  • Museum Kampa, Prague
  • National Gallery, London
  • Palace of Versailles, France
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
  • State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
  • Tate Britain, London
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Like Father, like son

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Here's an award winning title that deals with the aftermath of a school shooting.  Check out the summary below: 

It is September, and senior Valerie Leftman is heading back to school. Five months earlier, her boyfriend, Nick, opened fire in the school cafeteria, killing six and wounding others before committing suicide. Despite being wounded herself while trying to stop Nick and save classmates, Val has been the focus of police investigations and rumors due to the Hate List, composed of classmates’ names, which she created to vent her frustration about bullies. Struggling with guilt and grief, Val begins school as the ultimate outcast, but she finds one unexpected ally. Most books about school shootings focus on the horrifying event itself, but this debut novel breaks ground by examining the aftermath. Brown uses a creative structure of alternating narratives that incorporate excerpts from newspapers. The characters, including the many adults, are well drawn and become more nuanced as Val heals and gains perspective. Filled with unanswered questions, this compelling novel will leave teens pondering the slippery nature of perception and guilt.
Booklist (September 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 1))

Grades 9-12