Posts Tagged 'loneliness'

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

i am the messenger

 

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  357

RAC:  Yes

Ed Kennedy has zero goals or aspirations for life.  He works as a cab driver, lives with an old dog, and plays card games with his three underachieving friends.  After witnessing the worst bank robbery he’s ever seen, Ed manages to help catch the robber sheerly by luck.  Afterward, he is given quite a bit of notoriety, but more importantly he receives a playing card with three names on it.  He quickly realizes that he needs to find ways to help the people named on the card and some are much more difficult than others.  Each person changes Ed a little bit and he begins to wonder how many names there will be.  He has evidence that someone is watching him to see if he is completing his tasks, but who?  What is the purpose of these little missions?

This powerful story makes you think about the choices you make everyday.  Ed never planned on making much of himself simply because he didn’t think he had any real potential or skills.  These missions help him to learn that he can indeed make a difference in many ways.  What is he meant to do?  His friends are no more motivated than he is, but as he continues his journey he begins to discover that they all have secrets of their own.  There is some sexual references and mild language, but the story will leave you thinking about the character and the message for days to come.

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Listen! by Stephanie S. Tolan

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 197 p.

RAC Book: Yes

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Twelve-year-old Charley is still recovering from a car accident in which her leg was badly hurt. As she struggles to walk with a cane around the lake near her house she finds a wild dog whom she names Coyote. Charley makes it her mission to tame Coyote and keep him as a personal friend. She feels they have a connection and she needs a friend for the summer since her best friend went off to tennis camp.

Listen is a slow moving story about a girl coping with the death of her mother and then a traumatic accident of her own in which she spent many months rehabilitating from. Coyote helps her to come to terms with everything she has lost as well as finding how to move on. Animal lovers will enjoy this book because it accurately illustrates how animals and humans can help each other heal. A good story, but many students may find it too slow without enough action to keep them intrigued and engaged.


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