Monday, March 02, 2009
It looks as if the books for this year have been chosen! The students who had English in the fall semester voted on them, the faculty is currently vetting them and I am wholeheartedly hoping that no more nasty surprises come up.
What kind of nasty surprises you may ask? Well, three books I had high hopes for are not going to be on the list this summer!
The first is THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. It is the story of a kid who realized that he is one of the reasons a classmate committed suicide. He finds out because she made a set of tapes before she died telling her story. The narrative switches back and forth between her story and the story of the night the boy listens to the tape. It is fantastic. But it isn't going to be out in paperback until October.
The same thing happened with UNWIND by Neal Schusterman. I LOVE this book. It is a science fiction novel about a future where teenagers are found to be somewhat expendable and quite useful for organ transplants. It is full of action and asks some great ethical questions. But alas, it will not be out in paperback until August. Rats! Look for it on next year's list, without fail.
And finally, I just put down ROCK AND ROLL CAGE MATCH, which is a great concept - music critics match up pairs of corresponding bands, singers, concepts or producers and choose a "winner" - but those music critics are a real potty-mouthed lot and many of them have unresolved issues about their adolescence which I am uncomfortable reading about. I laughed out loud a lot, and I still like the idea - and you can feel free to check it out at the library, but I think the summer reading list is going to have to be without it.
I will start reviewing the books here soon. For now we have a list that may or may not be complete! And I am going to try to write a six word synopsis because that is the sort of thing librarians like to do on snow days.
Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Funny geek fears he betrays heritage.
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Super model brain transplant - enough said?
Before the Legend by Christopher Farley
Bob Marley was young once too.
Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits by David Ortiz
Baseball player is super nice guy.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Death observes girl in Hitler's Germany.
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Entertainment is weird in alternative world.
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Calletti
Teenage waitress gets million dollar tip.
Harmless by Dana Reinhart
Girls regret lying to avoid trouble.
Hero by Perry Moore
Saving the world is hard work.
Hypochondriac’s Guide To Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have by Dennis DiClaudio
Man, you can catch gross stuff.
A Long Way Gone by Ismael Beah
Boy soldier in Africa writes memoir.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Memory loss allows for new life.
My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay
Teen missionaries caught in violent uprising.
Plato and a Platypus Walk in to a Bar by Thomas Cathcart
Philosophy explained through really bad jokes.
Right Behind You by Gail Giles
Accidental murderer tries to redeem himself.
Runaways: Pride and Joy by Brian K Vaughn
Parents are super villains, children rebel.
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
Girl translates Salem witch trial diary.
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
New enlistee recounts life in Iraq.
Twelve Mighty Orphans by Jim Dent
Football playing orphans kick Texas butt.
What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sondra Sones
She's way out of his league.
What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
Girl disappears, repercussions felt years later.
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
Crazy uncle lures girl to Antarctica.
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Humans are extinct. Earth responds well.
I will write longer reviews as the books get vetted by the faculty.