Reel Life Starring Us by Lisa Greenwald
I really enjoyed Reel Life Starring Us and I think it had a lot of appeal. It’s narrated by two 8th graders, Dina and Chelsea. Dina has just moved from Berkshire, MA to Long Island, NY. At her old school she had lots of friends and never felt like an outcast, but at Rockford Hills Middle School it’s a different story, there are cliques, getting “chipped,” gossip, and more to deal with. Dina thinks she may have found a way to make new friends and be “popular” when she’s assigned to do a project with Chelsea the most popular girl in 8th grade. Through their video project together Chelsea and Dina find out about what’s really important in life when it comes to being a good friend and being true to yourself. It’s definitely not easy to do either all the time. The book touches on a lot of issues that a lot of people are going through now, like moving to a new school, having a parent who’s lost a job, making friends, crushes, and dealing with other the other things that come along with middle school.
If you’re not a big fan of blood and gore- then this is not the book for you. If you like blood, guts, gore, suspense and nightmare provoking monsters– then The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey is like winning the lottery for you!
It takes place back in 1800’s, where Will Henry is an assistant to Dr. Warthrop, a Monstrumologist who is someone who studies and sometimes kills monsters. The story begins with a knock at the door in late one night revealing a grave robber with a very special delivery…a dead monstrous beast, with its last meal still in its mouth. The beast is known as an Anthropophagi, a headless monster complete with a mouth in its chest full of skull crushing teeth. Soon the doctor and Will Henry begin to realize that this Anthropophagi appearance wasn’t random when more gruesome killings are discovered. Extra hands have to be called in to launch a great hunt for these blood thirsty creatures and Will Henry finds himself at the dangerous forefront of it all – either as the victor or perhaps just monster bait.
Robert Sandifer, also known as Yummy because he couldn’t be without candy and cookies, was a real boy living in Chicago. He was also a killer, a victim, a shorty, a boy who still curled up with his teddy bear, and a gangster. In 1994 Yummy graced the cover of Time magazine- after he shot a fourteen year old girl in his neighborhood while trying to prove himself to a local gang the Black Disciples. Robert, the narrator, will show you how the neighborhood, the schools, the city, and the whole country reacted to the events and he’ll give a peak into Yummy’s life and how he ended up in the horrible situation he found himself in at 11 years old. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G.Neri pulls you in right away and leaves you wondering if Yummy was a cold blooded killer or just a boy who had been led astray?
Bridge: a card game for your grandma and grandpa, or is it? In his latest book The Cardturner, Louis Sachar, author of the extremely popular, Holes, takes his love of playing bridge to the next level by writing a book about it and it works because this book not only focuses on bridge, there’s also two girls, a questionable best friend, and a lot of mixed up family history involved, which make the story engaging.
Seventeen-year-old Alton has recently been dumped by his girlfriend, who his best friend just so happens to be dating now. Alton doesn’t have a job or money. Insert Uncle Lester Trapp, the “rich” uncle, who Alton’s parents have been trying to impress for years in hopes of getting into his will. Uncle Lester Trapp has recently gone blind and now needs someone to drive him to his weekly bridge games at the club, insert Alton who becomes his chauffer and cardturner during the bridge matches. While playing it up with Trapp, Alton meets Toni, the granddaughter of Trapp’s sister in-law and former bridge partner, who was rumored to be crazy. According to Alton’s parents that craziness runs through the family, but Alton begins to see the truth as he spends more time with Toni. As Alton spends more and more time with Trapp he begins to find out bits and pieces about his past and family. Alton slowly sorts through the mysteries surrounding his uncle, his former bridge partners, Toni’s family and his feelings towards Toni. All in all, The Cardturner ends up being quite the page turner because you want to get to the bottom of all the tricks.