Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BAUER, STAHLER, APPELT, TSUDA

Bauer, Joan. BEST FOOT FORWARD. This is a continuation to RULES OF THE ROAD. After her summer with Mrs. Gladstone, Jenna is back home working at the store. She is helping with the merger of Gladstone shoes and The Shoe Warehouse. A thief, caught stealing in the store, is hired by Mrs. Gladstone to work in the store. Much to Jenna's dismay, she is assigned to “turn him around.” Also, Mrs. Gladstone's son is working on his own embezzlement plans. Jenna comes to the rescue as she did in RULES OF THE ROAD. This is just a good as the original. The relationship between Mrs. Gladstone & Jenna really makes this a heart-warming read.

Bauer, Joan. STAND TALL. Sam has always been called Tree. He's only in middle school, but he is 6 foot 3 inches tall. Even though he is tall, he isn't good at sports, like his older brothers. He doesn't fit in at school. He gets teased for his height. Plus, since his parent's divorce, things aren't right at home either. However, with the help of his grandfather and a new girl at school, perhaps things will start looking up.
**Other good ones by Joan Bauer STICKS, RULES OF THE ROAD, and the Newbery Honor book HOPE WAS HERE.

Stahler, David. TRUESIGHT. In the town of Harmony all the citizens are born blind on purpose. The settlement was founded on the premise that blindness removes all the shallowness of the world and leaves only purity. In fact, Seers are considered evil. So when Jacob slowly begins to see he is nervous about telling someone. Even worse than carrying his own secret, Jacob starts seeing numerous crimes in the community. He finally must tell someone and confides in his best friend. What will his friend do? Will Jacob continue to “see” while everyone else is blind? The back of the book mentions that this will be a trilogy. I hope so, since the ending left me wanting more.

Appelt, Kathi. POEMS FROM HOMEROOM. This collection of poems includes all types of teenage emotions and happenings. Each is insightful in its own way. A boy acts completely wild to get the attention of a girl. Two kids find cyberlove. An athlete endures the pressure of having a father who is the coach. Also, there is also a nice tribute in acrostics to seven young stars who died too soon (Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and four others). The second half of the book is a handbook for writers. Appelt reveals the motivation behind each poem and gives a listing of ideas on the same subject. If you like writing or poetry even a little bit, this is for you!

Tsuda, Masami. KARE KANO: HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES, VOL 1. (MANGA) Yukino Miyazawa is admired for her perfect grades, appearance, and popularity. She loves being adored for all that she is able to accomplish. Until a rival named Arima Aoiichior arrives and becomes class leader. She does everything she can to outdo him. They meet and she is polite to him. Later, he stops by her house to drop off a CD, and he sees the “true” Yukino. He doesn't mention anything to her. Several days later, he blackmails her. He threatens to tell everyone that she is a fake, unless she becomes his homework slave. What will she do to get out of this? Continue to work for him or give up her secret? This manga was very readable. Although, it was still difficult to tell who was talking sometimes, or if some text bubbles were thoughts rather than speech. But, I enjoyed the way the author put text in strange places on the page. Plus there were little areas of commentary about the page, but it was unclear who was saying it. Overall, it was shallow, but cute.