Posts Tagged 'Media'

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

divided we fall

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  374

Iowa High School Award Winner 2015-16

RAC:  Yes

Daniel Wright enlisted in the Idaho National Guard as soon as he was eligible, which means he is still a senior in high school.  He lives with his very needy mother, plays football, and has a girlfriend.  The national guard is only supposed to be one weekend a month until he graduates from high school, but then a law is passed that many people do not agree with including the governor of Idaho.  When he refuses to comply with the law he calls in the national guard to combat any possible rioters and Daniel Wright is one of those soldiers called in to defend the capital.  Unfortunately, his gun accidentally fires and it begins a terrible riot that results in some civilian casualties.  In the aftermath, the President of the U.S. demands the governor of Idaho reveal the names and whereabouts of all involved soldiers so they can face possible criminal charges.  The governor refuses and Idaho faces the very real possibility that they could go to war with the United States of America.  Can Daniel fight other U.S. soldiers?  Will Daniel go to jail if he is caught by the U.S. military?  Will his liberal girlfriend understand the circumstances that led him to this point?

This exciting adventure story shows how plausible it really is that a state could go to war with the U.S.  All of the characters are written in a way that you can understand their motivations, feelings, and actions.  There’s a lot of soldier terminology used to describe Daniel and his squad’s orders, but it is explained well for readers who do not normally read about soldiers.  The story is very exciting as Daniel is thwarted at every move and the ending will definitely leave readers wanting more.  Strongly recommended for high school boys.

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Winter White by Jen Calonita

Winter-White

Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  356

RAC:  Yes

In this sequel to The Belles, the secret about the true relationship of Isabelle to the Monroes is out and threatening to take down Bill Monroe’s campaign for Senator.  Multiple stories keep coming out about the Monroe’s and everyone is bothered by the fact that there seems to be a mole in their midst selling information to the highest bidder.  Meanwhile, Isabelle and Mirabelle are preparing to become debutantes at their cotillion.  This involves prep classes, dress shopping, and even a hazing ritual.  Isabelle does surprisingly well, but Mirabelle is struggling due to the fact that her former best friend, Savannah, has turned everyone against her and she feels all alone.  Can Mirabelle find a way to stand on her own without trying to please the most popular girls in school?  Can Isabelle survive cotillion training?  Will either girl let their father walk her into the cotillion after the way he lied to them?

This follow up is satisfying picking up right where the last one left off.  The characters are properly growing and developing and we are learning more about the periphery characters as well.  The cotillion preparation was actually fun and interesting as the girls struggle to make it to the big event.  Fans of the series will be eager to see more.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  323

RAC Book:  Yes

Melody has been groomed her entire life by her overzealous adoptive parents to be a desirable candidate for college, jobs, and everything in life.  They even predicted the potential of selling her fertility as soon as a deadly virus made it impossible for anyone over the age of 20 to procreate.  Melody received a very lucrative offer that included a signing bonus and college tuition, but her clients have taken almost two years to find her a mate to “bump” with.  Meanwhile, her twin sister, Harmony, has learned that her and Melody were separated at birth and wants to find her sister.  Harmony was taken in by those who follow the religious life and do not believe in “selling” babies.  She hopes to save Melody from her choices before it is too late.

This book is unique and memorable, which can be difficult in this genre.  The characters are interesting, but it’s the story that will grab readers’ attention.  This society is so well crafted and the conclusion that there are professional babymakers may sound crazy, but the media and propaganda in the book are so similar to ours that it makes it seem possible.  The ideas of religion and how it plays into such a society are handled nicely with no quick fixes or preaching, but merely questions for the reader and characters to think about.  The sanctity of life is also another overarching theme that many young readers do not take time to think about, but should.  The relationship between the twin sisters has some unbelievable moments, such as when Melody forgives Harmony for something a bit too easily.  However, the book sets up nicely for a sequel and readers will be dying to learn what happens to these characters.

Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  276

RAC Book:  Yes

Missy and Claire are cousins who are extremely close.  They have sleepovers every weekend and talk to each other constantly.  They also have a strong “family resemblance” that their parents are always trying to explain away.  Missy is two months younger and until recently was always smaller than Claire so she never let herself believe they might be more than cousins, but one day she realizes that the resemblance is too much to be ignored.  She convinces Claire to come on the morning announcements show at Missy’s school to pretend to be long lost identical twins. She tells Claire it will be an elaborate hoax, but she really believes it will force everyone to face the situation.  The problem is that when the video goes viral on the Internet another girl comes forward who looks just like them too.  Who is she and how did they get separated?

Fans of Caroline B. Cooney will enjoy this story as the lives of three young girls find themselves intertwined.  Many questions arise such as who are their real parents? Why have they been lied to this whole time?  Are they really sisters?  The three girls are entertaining and easy to identify with, but the three sets of parents are characterized well too and their motivations for questionable actions ring true.  The ending was satisfying and will leave readers wanting to read more titles by Cooney.

Vanishing Act by John Feinstein

Genre:  Mystery/Sports

Age Level:  12 and up

# of Pages:  279

RAC Book: Yes

Vanishing Act follows two young reporters, Susan Carol and Stevie, whom readers might remember from Last Shot: a Final Four Mystery.  In this story, Susan Carol and Stevie are writing about the US Open.  They are staying with Susan Carol’s uncle, who is an agent.  When one of the most anticipated players vanishes between the locker room and the court complete chaos ensues. The player was originally from Russia, so her parents immediately blame the Russian mafia, but Stevie thinks that answer seems too convenient.

Susan Carol and Stevie use some creative methods for finding out information regarding their cases, but many times their plans seem plausible.  Soon Stevie becomes suspicious of Susan Carol’s uncle, which creates some tension as he is then told to find somewhere new to sleep.  This distraction, however, does not even slow these young reporters down as they try to find out the truth.

This book has all of the charm of the first and in many ways builds on the characters to create an even better mystery with many layers.  The disappearance of the tennis player is only the beginning as Susan Carol and Stevie try to find answers.  When some of the information they find is troubling or dangerous to themselves, they continue to push ahead.  Students who like to read about sports and/or mysteries will be fans of this book. 

 


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