The Summoning

Armstrong, Kelley. 2008. The Summoning. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 978-0-06-166269-0 (trade binding) $17.99. Hardcover.

*Publisher’s Weekly Review 6/30/2008

*School Library Journal Review Nov 2008

*Kirkus Starred Review

Chloe Saunders has suddenly started seeing dead people and as a result is taken to a home for trouble teens. She must figure out why does she see dead people and are the others in the home really what they seem?

Was it just a dream or something more? Chloe is faced with many questions when she starts seeing ghosts. A scene change from her secure art school to Lyle House only raises more questions.  This building is shrouded in many mysteries…  What does the one ghost want with the locked door in the basement? What are the owners hiding? Can any of the other ‘residents’ be trusted? How is she able to see ghosts in the first place? Many questions will be answered and some left unanswered in this first book of the Darkest Powers series The Summoning.

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Little Brother

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Doctorow, Cory. 2008. Little Brother. New York: Tor, Tom Dohrty Associates. ISBN 978-0-7653-1985-2. $17.95.  Hardcover.

*2009—Prometheus Award–Libertarian Futurist Society Nominee

*2009—Hugo Award—Best Novel Nominee

*2008—Nebula Awards best s/f book Nominee

*2008—NYT Notable Children’s Book

*CYBIL Award

*Booklist Editors’ Choice

*Kirkus Best Book of the Year

*Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of the Year

*School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

*VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

After a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus and his friends must learn to survive in the new police state where the Department of Homeland Security rules via technology.

Marcus goes to the school with the  heaviest surveillance in the country. Marcus prides himself in thwarting the security measures to sneak out and join his friends in a virtual scavenger hunt called Harajuku Fun Madness. Little did he know one day this game would change his life forever.

After his world is turned upside-down, Marcus decides to take matters into his own two hands and use his technology handling skills to fight back against the Department of Homeland Security. (DHS) Using his computer, RFID technology, an Xbox and his own smarts, Marcus is able to ban together an unlikely group of helpers to fight against the police state and constant surveillance. The DHS better watch out for Little Brother.


Buckhanon, Kalisha. 2005. Upstate. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. ISBN 0-312-33269-6. $11.95. Paperback

*2006 ALA Alex Awards Winner

*Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction

*2006 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award in Debut Fiction Nominee

A novel of letters that follows Natasha and Antonio after he is imprisoned for murdering his father.

“Baby, the first thing I need to know from you is do you believe I killed my father?” And so this impassioned plea of Antonio to his girlfriend, Natasha starts this novel told via letters. The letters span almost a decade and showcase with raw emotion the struggles faced by both a prisoner and his girlfriend. Both must face the fact that they grow up far too quickly because of the circumstances that are placed into.

As the years pass, both Antonio and Natasha must face difficult choices and learn from their mistakes to grow into adulthood. Will they ever get back together? Will Antonio ever get out of prison? Is there any hope of living through this pain? The answers can be found Upstate.

The Braid

Frost, Helen. 2006. The Braid. New York: Frances Foster Books. ISBN 0-374-30962-0. $16.00. Hardcover

*ALA Best books for Young Adults

*Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry Honor Book

*NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts

*Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book

*NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

*Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice

*School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

*Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Master List

The story of two sisters, one who stays in Ireland while the other goes to Canada to escape the Highland Clearings.

Before they part ways, Jeannie  and Sarah exchange braids of hair as a remembrance. Jeannie escapes to Canada with her parents and three other siblings to escape the Highland Clearings.  Sarah decides to stay with her grandmother and go back to grandmother’s birth place. Their tales is told through verse and the connections are as tight as Celtic knots. Will the girls ever hear from each other again or will the only thing that holds them together be The Braid?

The Things They Carried

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O’Brien, Tim. 1990. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0289-0. $14.95.  Paperback—Reprint.

*Prix du Meilleur Lirvre Etranger—France

*Heartland Prize—Chicago Tribune

*Pulitzer Prize finalist

*National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

Fictionalized account of experiences and stories heard by Tim O’Brien during his tour in Vietnam.

Going to war means hours of marching, carrying all your equipment and fighting the enemy. The men who fought in Vietnam also carried emotional baggage, shameful memories, reputations, relationships, cowardice and courage.  This becomes apparent by the stories shared of which many are based on events that actually happened to the author or tales he heard from other people. Reading this book will you a greater understanding of what people went through in Vietnam. Above all it will help you to understand The Things They Carried.

Getting It

Sanchez, Alex. 2006. Getting It. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.  ISBN 1-14169-0896-X. $16.95. Hardcover.

*Winner, Myers Outstanding Book Award 2007

*International Latino Book Awards, 2nd place, Best Young Adult Fiction in English, 2007

*New York Public Library 2007 “Book for the Teen Age”

*Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection

Carlos hires Sal, the gay guy at school to give him a makeover. In the process Carlos learns a lot about his friends and life.

Carlos is 15 and wants to find a girlfriend. His group of guy friends all seems to have more experience when it comes to girls and he wants to “get it” in several ways. After flipping through the television stations one night, Carlos gets the idea that Sal, the gay guy at school could maybe give him a makeover like on Queer Eye. Sal agrees on the condition that Carlos helps start the Gay-Straight Alliance at school.

Over the course of the makeover, Carlos learns things about himself, friendship, tolerance and even girls. He also learns that sometimes getting what you thought you wanted is not always the best solution. Carlos learns that Getting It comes in many forms.

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I am Scout

Shields, Charles J. 2008. I am Scout, the Biography of Harper Lee. New York: Henry Holt and Company. (ISBN 0-8050-8334-0 $18.95: US; Hardcover.)

*Winner of the 2007 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance for Best Nonfiction Book

*Quill Award Nominee for Biography

*Junior Literary Guild selection

*2009 Best book for Young Adults—ALA

The biography of the famous author, Harper Lee who is known for her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Gives a biography of Harper Lee through a variety of sources such as archives and interviews with friends and acquaintances. Tells about growing up, the writing of Mockingbird and her friendship with Truman Capote. She was a great influence and help to Capote’s famous work, “In Cold Blood.” Includes notes, bibliography and index. Very insightful look into the reclusive life of Harper Lee.