Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Review: How to Build a House: a Novel by Dana Reinhardt

How to Build a House How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Harper Evans has a lot on her plate. Her mother died when she was two, and her father remarried a wonderful woman with two daughter, Tess and Rose. After they marry she and Tess are the best of friends, until the divorce. Now Harper’s life seems to be shattered and she will do anything to escape the mess her life has become. To get away, Harper signs up to volunteer for Homes from the Heart Summer Program for Teens where she will help build a house for survivors of a tornado in Bailey, Tennessee. Harper must learn to open her heart and begin to trust again before she can escape the devestation of her life.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some language in the book, although not a lot, and no violence. Sex does play a role in this book, although there are no graphic descriptions.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Duct Tape Craft Night at KHCPL Main from 7-8pm Tomorrow July 28th

Don't forget! Tomorrow is the night for our Get Creative with Duct Tape event. Come and learn the basics of this interesting craft while we make Duct Tape wallets! Once you know the basics you are unstoppable--some items that have been made out of duct tape include CD cases, purses, hats, flip flops, or for the really talented and adventurous a prom dress!

Book Byte: Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee

Check out Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee. Unhappy after his parents move to a weird subdivision and become workaholics, thirteen-year-old Travis returns to his old Salinas neighborhood and becomes actively involved in saving the John Steinbeck Library and, at the same time, begins seeing characters from Steinbeck's books who seem to have a message for him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Review: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Marcelo, a teen on the high functioning end of autism/Asberger's Syndrome, had planned to spend his summer working with the Haflinger ponies at his school, Paterson. Instead, he ends up working for his father’s law firm in the mail room in order to earn the right from his father to choose where he wants to go to school next year. His father wants him in a regular high school, while Marcelo wants to go back to Paterson. After years of being protected from the real world at Paterson, Marcelo must learn to navigate the complexities of everyday life at the law firm.

Marcelo is a likeable character, who is often mistaken for being dumb because of his condition. It is despicable how some of the people at the law firm treat him and attempt to use him, especially Wendell. Despite the belief that he is less intelligent because of his condition, we know Marcelo to be a highly intelligent and thoughtful narrator. He thinks things through, often in great detail, something we could all learn from. This intelligence is evident from the very beginning of the novel.

The issues in Marcelo in the Real World are many and complex. Interpersonal relationships are hard for Marcelo to understand, and it is interesting watching his development, as he makes more and more sense of the world around him. His special interest in religion gives him the ability to determine what is the right and moral course for his actions and his life. As the summer progresses Marcelo becomes stronger in character and his skills at reading people continue to develop.

This was a wonderful book, both interesting and complex with a completely likeable narrator in Marcelo. Definitely a must read. Highly recommended.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some discussion of sex in this book, but there is no actual sex in this book. Some mild language is used in the book, but it is rare.

View all my reviews >>

Duct Tape Craft Night 7:00-8:00pm July 28th

Jul 28
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. KHCPL Main
“Unleash Your Creativity” with duct tape. We will be creating duct tape wallets and introducing you to the basics of the art of duct tape. If you want to try some color variations, please feel free to bring your own rolls of your favorite color duct tape. To register, please call 765.457.3242.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Along for the Ride Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Auden West has missed out on much of her childhood, including riding a bike. She is the younger daughter of her divorced parents, and has always felt pressured to be an adult. Her older brother Hollis is the irresponsible one, but Auden has always been studious and dependable, which has left her to miss out on much of growing up. Since her parent’s divorce she has been unable to sleep at night, which leaves her wandering to all night diners and shopping centers alone, until she goes to stay with her father, his new wife Heidi and their newborn daughter Thisbe, in the beach town of Colby. There she meets another insomniac loner, Eli, who encourages her on her quest to reclaim her childhood.

Dessen has created another realistic and interesting heroine in Auden. At first she is difficult to like because she is so distant, but as the novel progresses we see more and more we like about Auden. As always Dessen has great supporting characters and depicts realistic teen issues.

I definitely recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen, she has written another hit!

Cautions for sensitive readers: There are some mentions of sex, but nothing is described in the book. There is no violence, and only mild language.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I think about this book all I can say is WOW! This book was intense. I read reviews of other reviewers, who thought that this book was slow, and were unable to finish the book. I have to say that it is well worth the time and effort it took to get through it.

The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The story is narrated by Death, a somewhat distant character until you get to know him. Death is intrigued by Liesel's story and what happens in her life. He first meets Liesel when her brother dies on the way to the Hubermann's. What follows is the story of a poor German family trying to live through WWII. Liesel Meminger's foster parents are good people in a bad time, and do not agree with the Nazi party. Over time Liesel comes to love her foster parents, and makes friends on Himmel Street where they live. It tells the story of both the good time and the bad, and shows Liesel strength to confront both.

It is a touching story of a young girl who steals books, and finds life in reading them. The ending is heartbreaking, but definitely a wonderful read. Highly recommended!

Cautions for Sensitive Readers: There is a lot of foul language in the book, but no sex (although there is a brief story about Rudy being naked). There is some violence. This story takes place during WWII and the Nazi regime is present--there are whippings of Jews and of Liesel's foster father when he offers a Jew a piece of bread. Liesel too is beaten when she tries to save her Jewish friend Max as he is marched to the Dachau concentration camp. Some fighting and bombings.

View all my reviews.

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Graceling is a stunning debut novel by author Kristin Cashore. According to the book flap, the story grew out of the authors daydreams about a powerful girl. Let me just say I hope she keeps daydreaming because this book was a wonderful adventure.

Katsa was born Graced. In her land many people are born with many different types of graces. Some are graced with the ability to cook, to fight, to dance, or even to read minds. Katsa’s grace has set her on a lonely path, her grace is the ability to kill. Feeling more cursed than graced, Katsa is the unwilling arm of King Randa, who uses her as a threat to any who would oppose his will. Katsa feels like a hired thug. .

In secret, Katsa created the Council to help the kingdoms from the rule of unfair kings. It is her work with the Council that leads her to cross paths with the Leinid Graceling Prince Po. When Po’s grandfather is captured, Katsa rescues him, but they struggle to find the reasons behind the kidnapping. What they find leads them on an adventure that will threaten both their lives. Can Katsa become more than a thug, can she see her grace as a gift rather than a curse?

This was well written and very entertaining. In fact, it was very difficult to put the book down. Fans of authors like Tamora Pierce and other fantasy authors with strong female characters, will find themselves drawn to this novel.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There was no language in this book, but you will find a lot of violence. The main character does have sex, but there are no explicit descriptions or detail.

View all my reviews.