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This is the story collection for readers who are sick of knowing exactly what is coming next. In the manner of Edward Carey and Jesse Ball, Davies establishes an immersive world and tours a reader through it until a devastating revelation is too late to avoid. To prevent exhaustion from the use of clouding the trajectory of the narrative, the collection includes flash-fiction pieces and alters what type of bleak landscape characters find themselves inhabiting. People in various forms of suffering are featured heavily throughout, and their actions and beliefs are ready to inspire readers to argue about their acceptability.
Wow! This book has characters and importance in aces. Talk about flowing writing amplifying the common settings of a school, friends' houses, and the bus to create a believable eighth-grade world in which a narrator who, despite his doubt that he brings anything special to the world, artfully supports his friends as best as he can. Branton Middle School bans cell phones, so students turn to sticky notes to pass their messages around. When hurtful messages move from online to paper, Frost and friends define and redefine friendships to survive the onslaught in this thoughtful, bullying-awareness novel.
care more about a hunt when we hear the potential victims' beating hearts. Military veteran Peter Ash runs into June Cassidy in the upper reaches of redwood trees, and from there, the two find themselves in an increasing amount of trouble as some very persistent men hunt them in hopes of obtaining a software skeleton key with the potential to shift the balance of world power. Fresh and movie-ready, Burning Bright feels like the kind of thriller we've been looking for--a serious buddy-film vibe with a romantic twist meets envy-inducing settings meet dangers that push but don't break the edges of believability. While a chase novel in spades, the book invites continued reading through a combination of compelling main characters, distributed action, and read-all-night pacing.
Shark Lady does a keen job of being biographical, adventurous, and daring -- all without preaching. The story of Eugenie Clark is for all kids who are interested in chasing their passions and learning the dedication it takes to working within them. For scientists and non-scientists alike, the book includes plenty of shark facts to accompany the inspiring story.
It's lovely to recommend a truly laugh-out-loud picture book in which the illustrations and text flatter each other so well. Rissi and Ohora have devised a story that the reader will gleefully suspend disbelief for. Mr. Stricter has introduced a class pet, but it grows and grows into something unexpected that he loves but the students realize requires a different sort of compassion. All members of a classroom are shown to be contributors to the educational experience as the kids problem-solve and help their educational environment be successful.
The journal of a twelve-year-old girl, accompanied by notes as artifacts from the family's cross-country train trip, reveals that we all may enjoy life more if we sweep aside the resentment we tend to feel for life getting in the way of our plans to live life. Sara and family accompany mother Mimi, who has won a writer's train sabbatical, across the continental United States. On their way, they meet unexpected new friends, and Sara learns ways to reinvent herself that are not on her planned out, preparing-for-middle school list. Sweet moments arise as Levy balances what these family members are like with elements inherent to the part of the country they're visiting. Accompanying the depth that comes with the chance for characters to react to different locations, the artifacts offer multiple voices to avoid the unreliability that might have arisen from reading one character's impressions.
"It is difficult to establish compelling, believable characters that follow in the footsteps of another well-known cast, but Cavallaro has succeeded with James Watson and Charlotte Holmes. Offering the right amount of hints and red herrings, Charlotte follows descendant Watson about his prep school as he meets his generation's Holmes, gets framed for murder, and fails at writing evocative poetry. The book smartly removes easy Bruce Wayne-style funding from the immediate players for most of the book -- Watson and Holmes are distanced from their families just enough -- leaving the characters to rely on cunning and poker games to finance their detective work. Drugs, sexual violence, bullying, and rage shadow Watson and Holmes, and the two new friends have to struggle with their own demons as they try to identify the ones hunting them down." --Todd
Appropriately grisly and caked with dirt, the story here elucidates the life cycle of fireflies and the perils inherent in their lives. The outdoor classroom setting, replete with veteran beetle teacher, allows for easy exploration of the firefly world, including a visit to fireflies in another stage. The depth hidden in the title comes out in the text: Survival isn't as much for individual longevity as it is for the continuity of the firefly family chained together by myriad year-long lives. Much humor is to be found too, especially in the clarification of which body part lights up. (Hint: It's not the bum.)
Aided by one jewel of a sentence after another, the inescapable truth rises that a story grows--in pain, joy, vice, and forgiveness--as more witnesses come forward. Mathilde and Lotto and a cast of characters elucidate what really happens in marriage, how muses are able to be heeded, and when people might make assured choices. The book's first act sets up the house; the second knocks walls down till the privilege to do meets the highest forms of secular oblation.
While Alan Cole and his two not-friends sit together at lunch, he continually dreams of basic survival. His father's a harsh guy and hates something that happened with his own parents; his brother, Nathan, is a yard beyond the line between sibling antics and bully savageries; and his mother's a shy version of her former loving self. When Nathan discovers Alan has a secret crush on another guy at school, he challenges Alan to a series of impossible tasks to win the right not to be outed. Moving and important, the story sees Alan reluctantly enlisting his eccentric not-friends to help him win Nathan's challenge, though the pressure to fit in by staying quiet might just end up ruining any hope to learn he isn't a coward.
When eighteen-year-old Tanner crushes on his high school writing class assistant, Sebastian, important loyalties are questioned -- both Tanner's and Sebastian's. Tanner's crush on Sebastian wouldn't have been a big deal back in California, but Tanner's family has moved to Utah, and Sebastian is an active member of the LDS church, which abhors same-sex relationships. As Tanner learns that Sebastian has reciprocal feelings, Tanner starts to withhold information from his best friend, Autumn, and Sebastian definitely hides his relationship with Tanner from everyone he knows for fear of being ostracized from his family, church community, and church-affiliated university. The well-researched book paints a very real portrait of these LDS people as endlessly kind church devotees whose kindness is strained when one of their own is gay -- they simply cannot accept love outside of heterosexual pairings, and they cannot understand why any gay person wouldn't just decide to live as a straight person. Tanner acts as narrator in this affecting story that reads as a plea for love to inspire empathy and as a testament to those who have patience to listen to others and admit their mistakes.