This week’s book trailer of the week is for Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace. This novel is based on true events and is set in the small town of Hatley, Arizona, in 1950. Red O’Sullivan is the high school quarterback that is desperately trying to make something of his football team. Since the town numbers are dwindling, due to the nearby mine closing, he’s losing teammates left and right. His team also doesn’t have that many resources, and racial tensions are also making it hard on the team. Can Red and the team be the rallying underdog that the town needs? Click here to find Muckers in the Library!
This week’s book trailer of the week is not a book trailer, but a trailer for a movie based on a book. In theaters today is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was written by Stephen Chbosky and published in 1999. Set in 1991, the story centers on Charlie as he begins his freshmen year in high school. Charlie is naive, but also very intelligent and reflective. Struggling with needing to be accepted, but also knowing that he is not like everyone else, Charlie finds friends in the unlikely pair of seniors, Sam and Charlie. From there Charlie begins to unravel who he is and who he wants to be. Click here to find the book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the Library and enjoy the movie trailer below:
by Jordan Sonnenblick
The summer before Peter’s Freshmen year, he suffers a serious arm injury while pitching in his little league championship game. The game was a critical one, because it would have shown his soon to be high school baseball coaches that he was a gifted pitcher that could easily make the JV team. Now, however, Peter’s pitching days are over. The injury to his arm required surgery and Peter seems to has lost any idea of what to do with himself now that he can’t play baseball.
Peter’s only other passion in life has been photography. His interest has been cultivated through years of spending time with his grandfather, who is a professional photographer. Peter has learned all the ins and outs of a camera, both old school and digital. When he walks into his first day of Introducton to Photography, he is clearly ahead of the class. Both Peter and another student, Angelika, are sent to the Advanced Photogtraphy class. Being the only two Freshmen in a class of upperclassmen instantly creates a friendship between Peter and Angelika.
Peter and Angelika’s friendship becomes something more, however, when they begin working together taking photos for the yearbook. Things seem to be changing for Peter as he begins to find out who he is when he can no longer be the star pitcher. However, as Peter begins to find himself, his grandfather seems to be losing himself. Can Peter get his family to recognize that their grandfather needs help before it is too late?
Curveball has a lot going on in its pages. At first this novel seems pretty simple: a guy has to figure out who he is when he can no longer be a sports star. However, with the addition of a possible new girlfriend, a best friend who truly believes Peter will pitch again, and a grandfather whose mind is slipping, Peter’s life is complicated. When you’re reading Curveball, though, you never feel like you are overwhelmed with Peter’s problems. It is a really good read that never feels like there is too much drama. I also really liked Peter. He was relatable and is a character who had flaws that he was able to overcome.
You should definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a good, realistic read that has a cast of characters that feel like your own friends and family.
by Faith Erin Hicks
If you like quirky graphic novels with a touch of supernatural, then you’ll love Friends With Boys. Not only is the artwork of Friends With Boys really well done, the story is also really interesting and quietly captivating. It centers on Maggie who is about to enter high school after being home-schooled by her mother. She is the youngest in her family with three older brothers, and their mother has just left. Maggie has always relied on her brothers, to be her friends and to do stuff with. However, now that she is in high school, her brothers cannot be there for her, and Maggie has to make new friends to survive. Maggie is doing her best in trying to deal with her mom leaving, even with the huge adjustment of attending a public high school, and the ghost that has followed her throughout her life is not helping things…
According to her website, Faith Erin Hicks says that she wrote this graphic novel with a little basis in her own life experiences. I always find it cool when an author uses their own experiences to influence their work. Read more about what real life experiences Faith Erin Hicks used in this graphic novel by clicking here. This book is not all drama, though, it is also hilarious! Especially the relationship between Maggie’s twin brothers Lloyd and Zander. Check out some of the artwork from Friends With Boys below:
It is simple black and white drawings, but I really like the style. The characters are realistic portrayals, and I love the styling of all the characters–I feel like I can picture what these characters would look like in real life and I also love that each character has a distinct style that stays consistent through the whole book. Finally, I really love the drama that Faith Erin Hicks can create with simple black and white drawings, check out this example (one of my favorites):
by Brian Katcher
Logan has been dumped. And it was not the kind of dumping that just takes a few weeks to get over. It was an epic dump. It was a “Logan is completely in love and then out of nowhere his girlfriend cheats on him and calls things off, after three years together” breakup. The last thing Logan is thinking about is moving on. Until, that is, the new girl comes to his high school. Logan lives in a small Missouri town called Boyer and no one new ever comes to town. So, when Sage shows up in his Biology class he is surprised to find how much he likes her. He is not just attracted to her, he also just likes being around her. Logan, however, is cautious since he is still reeling from his bad breakup, so he is hesitant to tell Sage how he feels about her. Sage is also more interested in just being friends with Logan. But that is because Sage has a secret. Sage was born a boy, but is in the process of transitioning to a girl, and that is why she has come to Boyer. Sage knows that the girl she is today is who she has always been and just wants the chance to be herself. However, will Logan be able to accept her when he learns her secret? And will he be able to get over the fact that Sage lied to him?
Almost Perfect is a fantastic read! It is such an emotion filled book. Logan is dealing with a gut wrenching break up and as he starts to get close to Sage, he finds out that she has been lying to him about who she really is. You really want Logan and Sage to be together since they are so perfect for one another, but it is so hard to believe that Logan will get over learning about Sage’s transitioning. Once Sage reveals her secret, you follow both Sage and Logan as they experience a whole range of emotions. This book definitely makes you feel and it is for anyone who is a fan of realistic fiction. Also, there are not many books being published right now that deal with a teen who is transgendered or transitioning. Almost Perfect is an excellent example of one! Here are some others that are equally as good (just click on them to find them in the Library!):
I just read Of all the Stupid Things and I really liked it. It tells the story of three girls in High School who each have their own set of problems and how they over come them. I think that it would be a great read for anyone my age.
review submitted by Julie
by Stephen Emond
Evan and Lucy have always been good friends, creating imaginary worlds in their heads, putting them to paper and going on their own adventures. Evan’s life has stayed relatively the same he works hard gets, straight A’s, and spends lots of quality time with his family, but Lucy’s has been tumultuous. After her parents divorced she moved to Georgia, where she had to deal with her mother’s critical and often cruel boyfriends, make new friends and try to deal with all the pain in her life. Lucy returns back to her dad and Evan over winter break and she’s definitely not what Evan remembered. Instead of being her quirky somewhat plain Jane self, she now has black hair, piercings and a scowl. Evan doesn’t know if his old friend is even exists anymore and he doesn’t know how to react to this new version of Lucy. Can Evan see past the outside and take the time to figure out what’s going on inside Lucy? Can two friends who keep changing stay friends? With his engaging storytelling and insightful illustration Stephen Emond helps the reader find the answers is his latest book Winter Town.
Do you ever remember reading Imogene’s Antlers as a child? It’s about a girl who wakes up with an enormous pair of antlers on her head one morning? Well David Small the author and illustrator of that book, woke up one morning when he was fourteen and found that instead of antlers on his head – he couldn’t speak. Turns out that his parents had decided not to tell him he had cancer and could die, which is why he had to have surgery to remove one of his vocal cords.
In his graphic novel memoir, Stitches, David Small reflects on his childhood and how his parents’ unhappiness in their own lives was transferred on to his own, from how they approached his cancer – with his dad, who was a doctor, trying his very own treatments of radiation for David’s cancer, to his mother’s anger which was often released in rages at David. What’s a boy to do in a family like this? David Small shows how he survived his family, overcame all the craziness life brought him, and how a little artistic expression can work wonders.
Seth Baumgartner’s summer is off to a great start. First his girlfriend dumps him at Applebee’s and then as he’s leaving the restaurant feeling dejected he sees his dad eating lunch with a woman who’s definitely not his radio talk show host mom. To top it all, off he arrives at work late and gets fired- his forth firing in a year. So, maybe his summer isn’t off to best start after all.
Luckily, his best friend Dimitri is there to hook Seth up with a new summer job at the local country club, where Dimitri works too. But, Dimitri’s not the only one in his family who works there. His younger sister Audrey, who turned long and lean sophmore year, does too. Audrey recommends that Seth make a list of all the reasons he wants to get back with his ex, Veronica, which inspires him to start a anonymous podcast, the Love Manifesto. Thinking there’s no way his friends or classmates will ever find his podcast, Seth uses it to not only to pine over Veronica but to ponder love , vent about his dad’s escapades, and all the other adventures he encounters over the summer. Except, the podcast doesn’t stay undiscovered. Suddenly Seth is in way over his head. Can he set things right with not just Veronica but Dimitri and all the other people he managed to anger with his podcast ? And of course he still is trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on with his dad and that other woman. So tune in and see if Seth’s summer ends with disaster like it began or if he’s able to clean up the messes he managed to get himself into.
Gentry appears to be a nice, small town in the United States filled with loving families, friends, and community. Not quite, though. Gentry has something horrible dwelling underneath it, full of mayhem and misery.
Two feuding sisters lurk just beneath the nicely cut lawns. One sister, who wants nothing more than to be loved, rules the House of Mayhem. The other sister, who thrives on cruelty, torture, and blood, rules over House of Misery. The sisters rule a mash up of people, if you can even call them that, which live in between dead and undead–some with mouths full of maggots and others with horrible scars.
An unspoken agreement between Gentry and these two houses exists: every seven years one child of Gentry is taken and replaced with a child of the House of Misery. The Gentry child is sacrificed to please the House of Misery. If all goes as planned then both Gentry and the House of Misery live happy and content. These “replacement” children usually don’t live long in Gentry. The families they’re stuck with just can’t bring themselves to love the replacement children. Except for one: Mackie. Mackie is a replacement that has lived longer than almost any other, but now he finds himself in a weakening state. He’s dying, and after his sister strikes a deal with the House of Mayhem to get Mackie a cure for what ails him, Mackie must reunite with his real family in the depths of the House of Mayhem. As Mackie gets more and more involved with the House of Mayhem he begins to uncover secrets about his family, the town of Gentry, and how the houses of Mayhem and Misery really began. This very twisted and disturbing tale is reminiscent of a good horror movie and will keep you on edge as Mackie digs deeper and deeper in the creepiness of Gentry, Misery, and Mayhem.