Book of the Week on Channel 24
Book of the Week on Channel 24
Can't remember the name of that book you heard Mrs. Farmer talking about on the news? Check out the list of past Book of the Week titles!
4/14/2011: Artichoke's Heart
by Suzanne Supplee
Rosemary Goode is 16 years old and overweight and tired of it of having to deal with the laughs and stares she endures at school. She’s tired of working at her mom’s beauty salon and seeing all the attractive and popular girls come in to get decked out for school dances. Rosemary’s life is out of control, and she knows it. She takes drastic action and starts to lose weight. In the meantime, Rosemary’s crush, Kyle actually begins to notice her and they begin dating...and devastatingly, Rosemary’s mom is diagnosed with cancer.
By the time you finish reading Artichoke’s Heart, you’ll be cheering Rosemary on like she’s your best friend. For a great realistic fiction read with spirit, try Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee.
4/7/2011: Saving Zasha
by Randi Barrow
World War Two has come to an end, when a thirteen year old Russian boy named Mikhail is riding his horse in the woods and comes across a bleeding and dying man and his dog Zasha, a German shepherd. There have been no dogs in Russia since the beginning of the war, especially German shepherds since they represented Germany, Russia’s enemy. All the dogs have died from starvation, died in combat, or were killed. But now, dogs are highly desirable for breeding, and there are thieves and dog-catchers who would love to get their hands on Zasha. It is up to Mikhail and his family to hide and protect their best and most loyal friend. This historical fiction book is more than just a dog book-it will give you a whole new perspective on man’s best friend. Check out Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow.
3/24/2011: How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy
by Crystal Allen
Read the first sentence of this book: “Since Saturday, I’ve friend Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling. and it’s just the middle of the week. People call Wednesday ‘hump day’ but for Sergio, it’s ‘kicked in the rump day.’ I’m his daddy now."
13 year old Lamar Washington is a whiz with a bowling bowl, but a loser with the ladies. Lamar came to love bowling with his mom’s help, before she died of cancer, and now Lamar’s hero, professional bowler Bubba Sanders is coming to town. Lamar’s life seems to be heading for the gutter when he pulls a prank that gets himself in a lot of trouble. Will Lamar pick up the spare and turn things around for himself? For a snappy read with tons of great dialogue, check out How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen.
3/17/2011: Death Cloud
by Andrew Lane
Fourteen year old Sherlock Holmes is on summer vacation from boarding school during the summer of 1868 when he learns he won’t be returning home for the break. His father has been sent away to India with the British military and his mother has fallen ill, so he’ll spend the summer with his odd aunt and uncle. Sherlock meets a homeless street kid named Matt who tells him about a mysterious black cloud is capable of killing. Sherlock is also assigned to an American tutor, a man named Amyus Crowe. Together, the two discover a dead body covered in disgusting boils and welts. It seems like the person died of a disease, but the real cause of death will suck Sherlock and his tutor into an action filled mystery and conspiracy that will put Sherlock and all those around him in grave danger. Death Cloud will satisfy mystery lovers and puts a new twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories. This book is great for those of you who loved the young James Bond books.
3/10/2011: The Running Dream
by Wendelin van Draanen
To high schooler Jessica Carlisle, running is her entire life. She is a star track athlete who spends all of her time training and racing. She absolutely loves it. But, on the way home from a track meet, where she sets the record for the 400 meter race, the school bus she is riding is hit by a truck. A freshman girl named Lucy dies, but Jessica survives with a horrific injury. One of her legs was mangled and she has to have it amputated and her dream of running is shattered. Jessica does end up getting a bionic prosthetic leg, eventually relearns to walk again, and forms a powerful friendship with a girl named Rose, who has cerebral palsy. This is an intense and inspirational page-turner about hope and perseverance and despite all odds, making your dreams come true. Read The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen.
3/3/2011: Matched by Ally Condie
17 year old Cassia Reyes has always accepted that the Society will make the best decisions for her and her family-exactly how many calories she should eat in a day, which 100 poems she should be able to read, when she will die, and even who will be her best Match-the boy she will marry and have children with.
On the night of her Matching ceremony, Cassia is matched with Xander, a boy she has known her whole life. She is thrilled to be matched with him. But later at home when she opens the little box with Xander’s microcard that will tell her about all the personal things about Xander, for a brief moment, another boy’s face appears.
Who is Cassia’s true match? Could the Society have made a mistake? This book is a blend of romance and science fiction and would be great for those of you who enjoyed the love triangle in The Hunger Games.
2/24/2011: I So Don't Do Spooky
by Barrie Summy
2/10/2011: Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
by Alan Silberberg
12 year old lovable geek Milo Cruikshank has just moved to his fifth new house, and is beginning the 7th grade at a brand new school. Things haven’t been the same since his mom got sick and died from a brian tumor-Milo’s just been walking around feeling like he’s in a fog and his family is in shambles. Milo falls head over heels in love with the class hottie, a girl named Summer (who he accidentally sneezed on the first day of school-gross), and makes two unbelievable friends, Hilary and Marshall who get him to see that despite his mom’s death, life can be pretty good. This book has been compared to Origami Yoda but with a lot more heart. For a funny but sometimes heartbreaking read, try Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg.
1/27/2011: The Kingdom Keepers: Disney after Dark
by Ridley Pearson
Five Orlando teenagers are chosen to be guides for the Magic Kingdom, Disney World. They won’t be ordinary tour guides, though. They’ll be transformed into DHI, which stands for Disney Host Interactive AND Daylight Hologram Imaging. The cutting edge technology will turn them into hologram projections. One night when Finn, one of the teen hosts, is falling asleep, he finds himself transported into Disney as his hologram. He meets an elderly man named Wayne, one of the original Disney Imagineers, who tells him that the park is being threatened by a group of characters called the Overtakers, led by Maleficent, the witch from Sleeping Beauty, and the teens must stop them from destroying Magic Kingdom, and the world.
This is an awesome magical adventure and includes some appearances from well-loved Disney characters like the Pirates of the Caribbean and Buzz Lightyear. Check out Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson.
1/20/2011: Around the World in 100 Days
by Gary Blackwood
Gentleman, start your engines! In Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood, we go back to the year 1891 and meet Harry Fogg who has just made a bet that he can make his way around the world in the Flash, a steam powered automobile, in just 100 days. Harry is convinced that the automobile is the transportation of the future, and wants to prove it to everyone. His parents are not happy with his wild ways-they want him to settle down, but they’ll pay for his crazy adventure, so long as if he loses the bet, he will quit racing and get a real career, more proper for an English gentleman. Harry and his team will face challenges and thrills as they go on their journey...and unfortunately for Harry, someone is trying to cut short his adventure and sabotage his car.
This is a fabulous and funny adventure for those of you who loved MVP. Check out Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood.
1/12/2011: The Candymakers
by Wendy Mass
Do you go nuts for nougat? Cuckoo for chocolate? This week’s book, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass is fantastic for those of you who ever watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and wished you could fall into the chocolate river just like Augustus Glump.
In this book, four twelve year olds, Logan, Miles, Daisy and Phillip are finalists in a contest (along with 28 other kids) and will have the opportunity to invent their very own delicious candy. The four kids meet up at the Life is Sweet candy factory for two days before the contest, where they’ll get the chance to learn the ins and outs of making candy before the big event. What the kids don’t know is someone is trying to steal the secret ingredient from the factory and they’ll be part of the mystery, whether they like it or not.
Add one part mystery, one part friendship and one part humor, stir and let cool overnight, and you’ll get the sweet fun of The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.
12/16/2010: The Kneebone Boy
by Ellen Potter
This book is a quirky (that’s a nice way of saying weird) mystery/adventure that feels a lot like the Lemony Snicket books. It is called The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter.
Otto, Max, and Lucia Hardscrabble are siblings that live in a small village in England with their father. Their mother disappeared five years ago and their dad will not talk about what happened. Did she die? Was she kidnapped? The kids have no clue. When their father sends them to stay with their great-aunt while he is out of town for work, they begin to piece together the puzzle of what happened to their mother. Their adventure takes them through the creepy Kneebone castle, they meet unbelievable characters like the mysterious Kneebone boy, prisoner of the castle. This tale is witty and dark and also fully of mystery. For an unusual read, try The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter.
12/2/2010: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
by Tom Angleberger
If Sideways Stories from Wayside School met The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and had a book baby, it would be called The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
Would you take advice from an origami finger puppet in the shape of Yoda? What if that Yoda was able to give you really good advice and predict the future, like the date of that next pop quiz, or the fact the girl you’re about to ask to dance already has a boyfriend?
Dwight is the weirdest kid at McQuarrie Middle School. He is the kind of boy who will barf in class because he ate 13 servings of canned peaches at lunch, or wear shorts with socks up to his knees. The oddest thing about Dwight though is the Yoda finger puppet that he wears on his hand that gives really excellent advice. How is it that Dwight is so clueless while Yoda is totally amazing?
This hilarious book has tons of great illustrations and is great for those of you ready to graduate from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
11/18/2010: Define "Normal"
by Julie Anne Peters
This week’s book is called Define “Normal” by Julie Anne Peters. Antonia Dillon seems like the perfect 8th grade student. She gets straight As and is basically a teacher’s dream. But when she is assigned to be a peer counselor to Jazz Luther, a pierced and tattooed punky girl, Antonia wants out of their weekly meetings, and nothing to do with that miscreant. But the girls are forced to keep their counseling meetings, and gradually begin to tolerate and even like each other. There’s a lot more under the surface of seemingly perfect Antonia, including some pretty serious home problems, and Jazz is not a huge druggie or loser as Antonia suspects. This touching realistic fiction story would be great for girls who want to read about friendship. Try Define “Normal” by Julie Anne Peters.
11/4/2010: Bamboo People
by Mitali Perkins
Two boys-one country. This story takes place in Burma, located near China. Chiko is a bookish smart boy who’s father is in jail for resisting the government. Chiko hates war and fighting but he is tricked into joining the military. The other boy, Tu Reh is a Karenni refugee, living on the border of Burma and Thailand, ready to fight and get revenge on the Burma for what they’ve done to his people. Two boys-one war. What will happen when these boys meet in the jungle on their first mission of war?
This is an intense book about a conflict in Burma that is happening right now and child soldiers being dragged into war by adults. Read Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins.
10/28/2010: Stone Child
by Dan Poblocki
In honor of Halloween this weekend, this week’s book is a bone-chilling tale called The Stone Child
by Dan Poblocki.
After Eddie’s mom loses her office job and decides she wants to write books for a living, the family needs a change of scenery and moves to the small and strange little town of Gatesweed, Massachusetts. When they arrive, one particular house looks familiar to Eddie, and he realizes that this was where Eddie’s favorite horror/mystery writer, Nathanial Olmstead lives (or lived. The author has been missing for 13 years). Eddie and his new friend Harris discover a book hand written in code from the author, and when they begin to decipher the story, terrifying creatures and monsters from the book begin to appear and stalk the town. The boys must solve the mystery of the vanished author before Eddie’s mom finishes writing her own horror novel, releasing the most dangerous monster of all. The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki is like Stephen King for teens and would be a dead good read for Halloween weekend.
10/21/2010: Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising
by Jason Henderson
This week’s book is called Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson and it is part of the new Alex Van Helsing series. After leaving his old school, when he got involved in the mysterious death of another student, 14 year old Alex Van Helsing (which by the way, is the same last name as the vampire hunter in Bram Stoker’s book Dracula) transfers to a private boarding school in Geneva, Switzerland and is attacked by a vampire. Alex realizes his intuition was right all along, and he indeed is a vampire hunter. The Scholomance, a vampire clan, has infiltrated the area, and Alex and his secret society of vampire slayers must stop their bloody and fatal attacks. This book is full of action and suspense, and can be described as a mash up of Dracula and James Bond. Check out Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson.
10/13/2010: All Shook Up
by Shelley Pearsall
13 year Josh is being sent to Chicago to live with his dad for a couple of months while his mom is taking care of his grandma in Florida. When he gets there...his dad looks different. His hair is all jet black and he’s wearing a ridiculous looking shirt with parrots on it. In the car on the way home, Josh finds out his dad is now working as an Elvis impersonator. Josh is mortified and wants to keep his dad’s embarrassing job a secret from his new friends at school, but his secret might come out when his dad is invited to perform at a school concert. If you thought your parents were lame...well, you should read this laugh out loud book called All Shook Up written by Shelley Pearsall.
by Mark Shulman
“I know what you think. You think I’m fixable, don’t you? You want to fix the bad guy. You don’t know the half of it.” These are the words of Tod Munn, an 8th grade bully who has gotten in trouble one too many times. In this book, Scrawl, by Mark Shulman, Tod and his friends are caught vandalizing school property, Tod’s punishment is to spend afterschool in detention every day with the school counselor, where he must keep a journal about his life and why he bullies. This is a great realistic read that gives us the other side of the story, and let’s us see through a bully’s eyes and know his thoughts.
9/30/2010: Payback Time
by Carl Deuker
This week’s book, Payback Time by Carl Deuker is a great way to kick off football season. Dan AKA Mitch (like Michelin Man, because of his weight) wants to become a famous journalist, and begins working for the sports section of his school paper. He wants to crack a really big story, and when he finds out that one of the team’s football players, Angel Mariachal, has a mysterious past, Dan sees this as an opportunity to get a huge news story. Where did Angel come from, and why won’t the coach play him, despite his incredible arm? Full of football and suspense, this is a great book for sports fans and mystery lovers alike.
9/23/2010: Heist Society
by Ally Carter
2009-2010 School Year:
This week’s book is kind of like Ocean’s Eleven for teenagers. Katarina Bishop grew up running scams with her father, robbing banks, museums and even the Louvre. Kat is tired of her abnormal life and wants to be a regular teen, so she pulls one last con and gets into a private boarding school. Unfortunately, Kat is pulled back into the con life when her father is framed for stealing five great works of art from a Mobster who is not very happy, and willing to do anything (including bodily harm) to get his masterpieces back. Will Kat and her crew of teen scam artists be able to get her dad off the hook? For an exciting and clever read, check out Heist Society by Ally Carter.
5/20/2010: The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
It all began with 36 cells frozen over 100 years ago. Matteo Alacran is a clone of the real 142 year old Matteo Alacran also known as El Patron, leader of Opium, a drug ridden country located between Mexico and the United States. Opium is filled with fields of opium poppies and overrun with drug lords. Matt was not born but harvested by scientists and when he is 7 years old, the original El Patron finds out about him. Clones are thought to be the scum of the earth in Opium, but not for the clone of El Patron. Matt's life turns into one of privilege, but when he is 14, he learns he may not be the only one like him.
5/13/2010: This World We Live In
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This week’s book was one I have been waiting for for a while-it is called This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. It is the third in the Survivor series that gave us Life As We Knew It. It has been almost a year since the asteroid has struck the moon, setting off a series of cataclysmic events on earth that have killed millions. Miranda, her mother and two brothers have managed to survive so far by “house hunting” (breaking into peoples homes and scavenging) and getting some government handouts--but food is still scarce. Out of nowhere, Miranda’s father, his wife, their new baby and three strangers show up. If you read the second book in the series, you’ll remember two of these strangers-Alex and Julie Morales from The Dead and the Gone. Sparks fly between Alex and Miranda, but Alex is keeping a life-changing secret from Miranda and the rest of the survivors. When tragedy strikes again and a tornado destroys what little they have left, Miranda is forced to make a decision that will change her life. This book, told in journal entries, is an intense follow-up to this exciting series.
by Brandon Mull
11 year old Seth and 13 year old Kendra are completely bummed when their parents go on a Norwegian cruise without them for seventeen days, and in the meantime, drop them off at Grandma and Grandpa Sorenson's house. Kendra and Seth aren't really close with this set of grandparents, so that can only mean one thing--awkwardness. Grandpa Sorenson sets up all kinds of rules for the brother and sister-don't go here, stay out of there... but when Seth decides to test the boundaries, the two kids find out just how special their grandparents' home is. It seems that their Grandpa Sorenson is the caretaker of the land which is named Fablehaven...which is sort of like a wildlife preserve for fabled creatures like fairies, trolls, and imps. But when Midsummer's Eve rolls around, and Seth disobeys the rules one too many times, the results are disastrous, and it is up to the children to save Fablehaven.
4/30/2010: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson
by Gabrielle Zevin
4/16/2010: Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins
This book is an unusual blend of humor and the supernatural and feels like a mix of Harry Potter and The Clique books-it is called Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Sophie is a dark witch who doesn't have a lot of control or knowledge of her powers-after all, her mom is a regular mortal and her dad, the warlock in the family hasn't been in Sophie's life since she was born. After doing a sloppy job casting a love spell at prom, Sophie is banished to Hecate Hall, a reform school for other witches, warlocks, fairies, shape-shifters...and one vampire, who happens to be her new roommate. On her first day, she manages to embarrass herself in front of the best-looking warlock at school, nearly gets eaten by a werewolf and make enemies with 3 not-so-nice dark witches who seem to want something from Sophie. Life gets even more interesting when Sophie finds out there was a murder on campus last year, and the number one suspect is her new roomie, the vampire. This book is perfect for those of you who have always wanted to cast a spell of your own.
4/8/2010: Woods Runner
by Gary Paulsen
by Scott Westerfeld
3/18/2010: The Great Wide Sea
by M.H. Herlong
Cruising around the Bahamas for a year sounds fun and relaxing but for 15 year old Ben in The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong, this is no joy ride. When Ben's mom died in a car accident, his dad decides to sell their house, uproot the family and sail around the Caribbean. Ben, his dad and his two younger brothers are happy at first, but one morning, the boys wake up to find their father vanished and nowhere to be found. The boys have to battle through a huge storm and eventually shipwreck. How will the three young boys survive on their own in the middle of the ocean? What happened to their father? If you were a fan of Hatchet, you'll definitely love this exciting survival tale.
by Cynthia DeFelice
Have you ever gazed into the starry sky at night and wondered, is there life out there on other planets? In Signal by Cynthia DeFelice, Owen McGuire used to spend a lot of time staring out at the stars with his mom, who died just a couple of years ago. Owen and his dad are trying to start their lives over so they moved to the lakes region in upstate New York where Owen goes hiking and rides his bike a lot in the woods. One day on a ride, Owen comes across a piece of torn up and bloody t-shirt...he then stumbles across who or what the t-shirt came from, and what he's found may not be from Earth. For a realistic fiction story that will definitely surprise you, pick up Signal by Cynthia DeFelice.
3/4/2010: After Ever After
by Jordan Sonnenblick
This week's book is a sequel to one of my favorites and a very popular title here at NBJH called Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie). This book is called After Ever After and is by Jordan Sonnenblick.
Jeffrey Alper is now in 8th grade and cancer free after dealing with leukemia during kindergarten. Unfortunately, the effects of cancer have stayed with him. Because of all the chemotherapy and medicine, Jeffrey now has learning disabilities which makes school and when Jeffrey finds out he needs to pass a state standardized test in math in order to move on to high school, he'll need the help of his best friend Tad (math genius and fellow cancer survivor.) In the meantime, Jeffrey is developing a huge crush on the new girl from California, Lindsey, and dealing with the fact that his older brother is studying drums in the middle of nowhere Africa, and barely ever answers Jeffrey's emails. If you're a fan of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, this book absolutely will not disappoint you. Check out After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick.