The Truth About Forever

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

 Macy’s father died a couple of years ago and since then she has worked to live as perfectly as possible to keep everything in her life from falling apart.  She has buried all of her feelings and tried to live up to her mother’s expectations: being a good student, having the perfect, smart boyfriend and following all of the rules.  In Macy’s mind, living perfectly means that everything is safe.  Now summer is about to begin and it looks like everything will go as planned.  Macy’s boyfriend, Jason, is going away to ‘Brain Camp’, which is just a summer camp for smart, high achieving kids, and Macy is staying home.  She is going to spend the summer filling in for Jason at his job at the library and studying for the SAT. 

But then some unexpected things happen.  Macy is offered a new opportunity to work for Wish, a little catering business that needs the extra help.  She makes some interesting new friends and slowly begins to see what she is missing by living perfectly.  Then Macy’s sistser starts visiting and sharing her plans to remodel the family beach house, which hasn’t been visited since their father died.  Both of these things challenge Macy’s perfectly constructed safe life and makes her reconsider the choices she has made since her dad’s death.  Will Macy step out and live life or will she stifle her new thoughts and feelings and continue to live perfectly?

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Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gym Candy

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Mick Johnson’s life is all about football.  His dad, Mike, introduced Mick to the game when he was just a little boy.  Mike had been a football hero in his day and he wants Mick to follow in his footsteps, making big plays and big headlines.  And it could happen.  Mick is good, he has real talent and the work ethic and determination to make it happen.  Most importantly, playing football is fun and exhilarating for Mick.  He loves the game!  
In the spring of his eighth grade year, the high school coach invited Mick to come and go through spring training with the varsity team.  Mick is ecstatic!  After a rough first day, Mick works hard, improving daily and working his way up the depth charts.  The following fall, he makes the varsity team as a ninth grader and has a fantastic season!  But then comes spring training with a new coach and a new eighth grader who challenges Mick for his spot on the team.  Mick knows he has to work hard training all summer to keep his spot on the team.  His dad arranges for him to go to a private gym and work out with a personal trainer who offers to give Mick some “extra” help.  But will this “extra” help really work?  How far is Mick willing to go to keep his spot on the team?  Will it be worth the cost?
Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

Steven has a mostly normal life for a thirteen year old  Yes, Steven is a self-admitted skinny geek and the most beautiful girl in school won’t even look at him.  Yes, he has a pesky, although cute, younger brother, but some things you just have to bear even when they annoy you to no end.  (Isn’t this normal for lots of thirteen year olds?  Can life be normal when you’re thirteen?)  But Steven has a passion: playing the drums.  And is a talented drummer, good enough to make the All-City Jazz Band.

“Normal” life ends one morning in October when Steven’s little brother Jeffrey gets sick.  In the months that follow, Jeffrey spends weeks in the hospital, Mom takes a leave of absence from her job to take care of Jeffrey, and Dad hardly speeds a word to him.  Steven becomes a “microwave Hot Pockets poster child”, while totally checking out on his school work and focusing all of his attention on practicing for the Spring Jazz Concert.  But life, with all of its troubles, can’t be avoided forever!

Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by Suzanne Harper.

Cover Art for Sparrow Delaney

As the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Sparrow Delaney has been gifted with strong psychic abilities.  But she has kept this gift a secret from everyone, especially her family!  They are weird enough as it is.  She doesn’t want to join the “family business” and be a psychic.  She keeps telling her spiritual guides, three ghosts who have appeared to her since early childhood, that her only wish is to be normal.  So when she has the opportunity to attend a new high school where nobody knows her or her family, especially her six older sisters, she jumps at the chance!  She can start fresh and be totally normal.  But in her first class on the first day of school, she sees a ghost.  She uses all of her well practiced tricks at avoiding ghosts, but he won’t let her be!  He keeps appearing to her and pleading with her to help him.  But Sparrow is stubborn and she wants not part in his plan, whatever it is!

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Schooled

Cover Art for SchooledSchooled by Gordan Korman

Capricorn Anderson, also known as Cap, has led a sheltered life and that is an understatement!  He has lived most of his life with just Rain, his grandmother, on a farm commune, where he has been home schooled.  His world is rocked when Rain falls out of a tree and breaks her hip.  Social services removes Cap from the commune and plants him in the real world.  That means living in a house that isn’t held together with duct tape and being inrolled in the local middle school.  Everyone knows being the new kid is tough, but what is the new kid has never watched television, seen an iPod or heard of Starbucks?  What if he only wears homemade shoes and tie-died t-shirts?  What happens?  Cap becomes the target of a diabolical plan devised by the most popular kid in school to elect Cap 8th grade class president and then torture him all year long!  How can anyone, least of all Cap, survive that?

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf

Just like everyone else, Ginny Davis’ life has ups and downs, good times and bad.  She tells the story of her seventh grade year through a collection of stuff, including birthday wish lists, class assignments, text messages, bank statements, post-it notes, and receipts.  Lots of big things can happen in a year:  your mom can get married, your brother can be shipped off to military school, and your science fair project really can be eaten by your dog!  Read this book for yourself and then you decide:  Is middle school really worse than meatloaf?

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 9:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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