Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Skeleton Man By Joseph Bruchac

By: Joseph Bruchac
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0064408884
Date: August 5, 2003


This book is about a young girl named Molly whose parents have disappeared. Molly is then placed in the care of a mysterious uncle that she knows is not truly related to her. Molly soon realizes that her uncle isn’t what he appears to be and his body is very similar to the Indian tale of the Skeleton Man story her father told her. Molly finds out that her so-called uncle is the reason behind her parents disappearance and sets out to free them and defeat the skeleton-man figure posing as her uncle.


This book is scary. For example, when I learned of the Mohawk legend of the Skeleton Man through Molly when she recited what her father had told her, I was really grossed out! I liked the story and I have to say I kept reading to find out what would happen to Molly and her parents. I was glad Molly had her happy ending but was concerned that the authorities couldn’t find out the true identity of the man posing as her uncle. Overall, I felt this was a good book due to the mystery aspect of the story and also the Native American influences. I liked how the chapters were not very long and feel this would help engage the reader.

Potential Use:

This book would be good to use for both pleasure reading and in a book club setting. I feel this story would be a great way to introduce Native American legends and mystery genre to students.

Reader Appeal:

I feel some students would be drawn to this story because it presents a scary Native American legend. Girls could be drawn to this story because Molly is a strong heroine. The chapters are short and I feel this would be less intimidating to young readers.

Other Information:

This book has won many awards such as the Prairie Pasque Award, Sequoyah Book Award and the Young Reader’s Choice Award. You can access this information by clicking on: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780064408882/Skeleton_Man/index.aspx.

You can also access the author’s website by clicking on: http://www.josephbruchac.com/. Here you will find interesting information about Mr. Bruchac and can hear some selected poems he has posted on his website.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Waiting for Normal By Leslie Connor

Author: Leslie Connor
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 0060890886
Released on Feb 5, 2008

This book is about a 12 year old girl named Addie who lives with an unfit mother known as Mommers and longs to be with her stepfather Dwight and her two half sisters Brynna and Katie. Upon moving to a new town with her mother, Addie tries really hard to cover-up Mommers neglect and befriends many town folk especially a lady at the corner store. Addie does a lot of growing up due to her mother’s absence and experiences a loss of a friend and devastation when her trailer home burns down.

I liked this book. I felt the story was well written and you are able to connect with Addie early. I felt the story presented many real life situations that many readers could understand. For example, Addie and her friend Helena deal with transitions from girls to young ladies (puberty) and Addie’s battle with dyslexia and how she views herself as not being smart because of this. You really feel for Addie and are really happy to see Soula, the corner store owner, takes care of Addie when her mother leaves her for days on end. However, I was crushed when Soula died at the end from her battle with breast cancer! The sadness from Soula’s death was lifted when Addie was finally able to get her happy ending when she was able to live with her stepfather Dwight and two half sisters. This is one of those books that really makes you think and tugs at your heart while reading.

Potential Use:
This book would be a good one to use in a reading club. Since this book deals with many real life issues this would be a good book for young/teenage readers to read. I feel that this book could be used as a tool to get kids to possibly open up about similar situations they may have experienced or seen.

Reader Appeal:
This book would appeal to pre-teen/teenage girls. Due to the life skills presented in this book, I feel this could be appealing to adults also. The characters in this book really mimic real life which I feel can draw anyone into reading this book. Good book!

Other Information:
Awards for this book:
ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book, Texas Lone Star Reading List, ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Notable Children’s Book and Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice Award. http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780060890889/Waiting_for_Normal/index.aspx

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What is this blog?

This blog is all about books for teens and young adults. I will be posting my own personal reviews of books I have read. If there is a specific young adult or teen book that you would like me to read and review, please send me an email or leave a comment. This blog will be updated monthly and I hope you enjoy reading my blog.