Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Looking for Alaska

Sixteen year old Miles Halter is seeking the "Great Perhaps". He leaves his Florida home to attend boarding school, Culver Creek, in Alabama. While there he meets a group of fellow students he immediately connects with. His room mate Chip (the Colonel) and the beautiful, complicated Alaska. Together they introduce Miles to drinking, smoking and the fine art of creating the perfect prank.
For the first time in his life Miles feels like he belongs, he discovers the meaning of real friendship and loyalty.
The story is told in two parts-before and after the death of one of the characters. The beginning is a little slow but a few chapters in I was completely commited. Because it's impossible not to care about the characters of this story. As the story unfolds we learn that there are many layers to Alaska, Chip and Miles. The story is told with honesty and humor but also deals with grief and loss.
This is the second novel that I've read by John Green. I love the dialogue between characters, especially the boys. It flows and feels real. He doesn't shy away from complicated issues or try to wrap things up in a neat little package.
This is an excellent read for a boy or a girl. I recommend it for ages 15 and up because of language and sexual situations.
This book is available to check out at the Salmon Public Library.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Being a fan of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli I thought Schooled by Gordon Korman would be a good read. I was not disappointed.
Capricorn Anderson might as well be from a different planet. He was raised on a hippie commune out in the middle of no where. His grandmother Rain has always taken care of him and his needs. He has never seen television, had friends his age, eaten pizza or talked on a cell phone.
Life is simple until an accident lands his grandmother in the hospital and Cap in a foster home.
Suddenly Cap is forced into the cruel hard world of public school where he instantly becomes an outcast because of his long hair, hemp clothes and lack of social skills.
Cap's reaction to the situation is not what you expect.
The story is told from the view point of several people that come into contact with Cap. The foster mother, the principal, the popular kid and the class nerd.
I found Cap endearing but sometimes a little pathetic. The story very entertaining and really easy to read.
I reccomend this book for readers 12 and up. I think both boys and girls would enjoy it.
Good Read! This book is available at the Salmon Public Library.


If you are looking for laugh out loud funny this is the book for you. Spud by John van de Ruit is one of the funniest books I have read in a while.
The story comes from John "Spud" Milton who attends an all boys boarding school in South Africa set in 1990. His tale is written by way of journal entries which relate his various adventures, trials and humiliations.
John rooms with a group known at school known as the "Crazy Eight" and they never fail to live up to their name. These 13 year old boys are full of schemes and trouble galore. He deals with feeling home sick, the insecurities of not fitting in and being marked as a lowly freshman. Not only is John dealing with the insanity at school but on his breaks he puts up with his crazy family at home. Which includes his paranoid, bottle loving father, his always on the edge mother and stark raving mad grandmother he calls the wombat.
We follow John through his first year of boarding school where he bonds with his crazy roomies, has his first crush, deals with power hungry upper class men and drunken teachers.
I found this book hilarious, honest and surprisingly tender.
I'm happy to say that this is the first book in a series featuring John "Spud" Milton. I can't wait to catch up with him and the rest of the crazy eight again.
I would reccomend this book for readers 14 and up. It's about thirteen year old boys so know that the topic of sex will be brought up, there is crude humor and some rough language.
Excellent Book! This book is available at the Salmon Public Library.


"Some friends fade away.....Other's disappear"
That quote appears on the cover and immediately pulled me in. Who doesn't love a good mystery?
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury is a page turner that's hard to put down.
Win and Chris have been best friends since elementary school. As graduation nears they decide to embark on one last great adventure before heading off to seperate colleges. A cross country bike trek from West Virginia to Seattle, Washington.
The story is told from Chris's point of view one month after the bike trip. He is now at college and the FBI is questioning him about the disappearance of Win.
The bike trip is told in flashbacks as Chris trys to figure out what exactly happened to his best friend and their friendship along the way.
I love the way to story unfolded. Chris and Win have a complex relationship. At times I wasn't even sure I would call it an actual friendship. Sometimes your best friends really are your worst enemies.
Great book! I would reccomended it for readers 13 and up.
Our library does not carry this book but I would be happy to get it for you through InterLibrary Loan.


I just finished Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin last night.
Liz Hall has died and gone to Elsewhere and she's not very happy about it. On her way to the mall to pick out a prom dress she forgets to look both ways before crossing the street and is the victim of a hit and run accident. She wakes to find herself on board a ship headed for a place called Elsewhere where the aging process not only stops, it reverses. This means that Liz will never have the opportunity to turn sixteen, date, get boobs or get her driver's license.
Liz not only has to learn to adjust to her new life in Elsewhere, she has to figure out how to say goodbye to her old one on Earth.
I really liked Gabrielle Zevin's take on Heaven. The whole idea of aging backwards to birth again was a great twist. And I liked that Liz was not always very likeable. It made her grieving real to me. The story might be a little too complex for younger readers so my suggestion is for ages 14 and up.
This is a book that will stay with you long after you put it down.
We do not have this book in our library but I would be happy to get it for you through Interlibrary Loan.