- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is about Caitlyn, a girl who has been identified as having Asperger's Syndrome. Caitlyn's condition seems to be somewhat more severe and closer to moderate autism, however.
Identified as odd by her peers, Caitlyn's problems escalate upon the death of her brother. Caitlyn's brother had been acting as a behavioral aide for her and helped her to analyze different social situations. Social situations that may seem clear-cut to others are a maze for Caitlyn.
Caitlyn is mystified by how she "should be" experiencing the tragedy and by how her father is coping with the death. Meanwhile, the general community is coming to terms with the tragedy in relation to her brother's death. How can everybody find peace? How can Caitlyn find her own peace? Read this National Book Award winner to find out!
When You Reach Me (AR 6.0, Level 4.5) by Rebecca Stead is partially a tribute to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Stead's book won the Newbery Award in 2010. If you like science fiction, mystery and historical fiction, you will enjoy this unique story.
It is 1979 and Miranda is helping her mother to prepare for her appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid quiz show. Miranda, foundering after the loss of a friendship, finds new friends when she decides to work at the deli near her school. Soon, she starts to find mysterious notes with information that could have only have come from the future.
Miranda learns about racism, epilepsy, time travel, and friendship as she progresses through her sixth grade year. Do you think she will be able to help the person she is supposed to help? Read this and find out!
I lifted the rifle again and swung the tip of the barrel straight up into the air. I figured I could gradually lower the barrel at the screen, aim, and pick off one of the Japanese troops.
BLAM! The rifle fired off and violently kicked out of my grip.
"Jaaaack!" I heard my mother shriek and then the screen door slammed behind her.
"If I'm not already dead I soon will be," I said to myself.
She pounced on me. "There's blood! You've been shot! Where?" Then she gasped and pointed directly at my face. Her eyes bugged out and her scream was so high-pitched it was silent.
Fictional autobiography, Hell's Angels, history, mystery, comedy, death, horror...Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos is all and more. Full of eccentric characters, this novel follows the life of author Jack Gantos during one action-packed summer in his hometown. Meet Miss Volker, who is trying to revitalize a dying town. Meet Mr. Spizz, who polices the town on his adult-sized tricycle. Meet Jack's mother, who believes in bartering jam rather than paying cash. Meet Jack's father, who worries about the "commies" in town and who wants to build a runway in the backyard.
In addition to having a town full of loveable characters, Jack also suffers from nosebleeds that can be triggered by any excitement or surprise. Is it hemochromatosis, like Hemingway? Ugh! This is problematical, of course, since he is helping Miss Volker to write all of the obituaries.
Finally, a whole-summer grounding dampens his summer plans when he mows down a cornfield. How does he get out of it? Who is killing all of the senior citizens? Will he have to move to Florida? Read this extraordinary novel to find out!
Don't expect a light-hearted romp of a fairy tale in A Tale Dark & Grimm (AR 6.0, Level 4.6) by Adam Gidwitz. This book, now in paperback, is grisly and horrific. It is specifically geared for 'tweens and teenagers.
Hansel and Gretel are seemingly clue-less in the original fairy tale, as they encounter the witch in the woods. In this tale, the two characters are fully-developed and attain preternatural maturity because of all of the horror they experience due to the mistakes of their parents.
Fairy tales are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity at the movies and on television. However, the current incarnations of traditional fairy tales seem to taking a darker path than the Disneyfied versions of the past. Adam Gidwitz's novel can best be described as kiddie horror (is there such a genre?) He explains in his biography that he has personally experienced the horrors he has written about. Personally, I hope he is kidding! Read it, to find out why!
What happens if you combine losing two teeth, middle school, the 1989 earthquake, questionable friends, major crushes, The Little Mermaid, and high school? You get Smile (AR 1.0, level 2.6) by Raina Telgemeier!
Smile is an autobiographical graphic novel about the trials and tribulations of wearing braces for four years, in addition to the normal young adult problems. Anyone who has worn braces is sure to say, "I know about that!" For others like me, who have never worn braces, this novel is a revelation about the pain and heartache wearing braces can cause a 'tween or a teen.
Readers will be surprised that the novel takes place in the late 1980's and early 1990's because it is such a timeless tale. In addition to the central focus on her dental difficulties, Raina must also suffer the indignities perpetuated by her so-called "friends" and by her unrelenting crush on Sean.
If you are in the mood for a humorous and likeable character like Raina, pick up Smile.
Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Well, here's the tale for you of an aspiring young entrepreneur, who, being flat broke, is compelled to start his own gambling business. That's right! Pass out the chips; set up a fine table, and pass out the cards. We're ready for business, and the owner receives a cut of the winnings. Sounds sweet? It is.
Kevin, the smart aleck, has found the perfect business to help him through his financial woes, for his mom and dad have taken away his allowance. The sequel to Liar Liar, Flat Broke is an intriguing story by an old author, Gary Paulsen, who wrote Hatchet, Lawn Boy, Mudshark, Brian's Winter and Brian's Return.