Posts Tagged 'pressure'

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

need

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  338

RAC:  Yes

Kaylee is desperately trying to find a kidney donor for her brother who is very sick.  Her and her mother have been tested and are not matches so she really wants to find her father who ran off shortly after DJ’s diagnosis.  Her best friend, Nate, then introduces her to a new social media site called Need.  Need members can only join by invitation and once you are in you can choose something to ask for that you think you “need.”  In exchange the program will ask you to do something in order to earn whatever you asked for.  Kaylee distrusts this site, but is desperate and asks for a kidney for her brother.  Meanwhile, her classmates are receiving new cell phones, computers, etc. and all for doing tasks they consider innocent.  When a boy is asked to deliver a box of cookies to a classmates’ door he does not think anything of it until the next day when that classmate is in the hospital due to a severe peanut allergy.  Did he cause her death?  What about the other mysterious happenings all over the neighborhood?  Are these high school students to blame or are they innocent bystanders?

Morality and responsibility for ones own actions are strong themes in this book.  We live in a very media based materialistic society and many teens feel they deserve or “need” all the cool things their friends seem to have.  This book asks the question of what would you do if you could get your every wish fulfilled?  The eventual outcome of who is behind Need is very believable and satisfying, if not a bit scary in its realistic nature.  Fans of The Testing will enjoy this new book from the same author.

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Crackback by John Coy

Genre: Sports/Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 200

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

RAC Book: Yes

Miles Manning has been a starting football player since he was in junior high. His team begins the year with high aspirations of winning state, but those dreams quickly vanish when their two starting quarterbacks get hurt and their coach has to leave for radiation treatments. The new coach blames Miles for everything that goes wrong with the team and believes he thinks too much and should just react to situations.

As hard as life is at school, however, it is worse at home. Miles’s dad is like a ticking time bomb that they all tip toe around and try not to set off. He still manages to find things to be angry about and usually goes after Miles when he wants to yell at someone. He was a big football player himself, so whenver he can he tells Miles all the mistakes he is making and never compliments him on what he does well.

On top of everything else, the players who are doing well on the team have all started taking recreational drugs including steroids and want him to do the same. This story accurately depicts the many aspects of a teenager’s life and how pressure can come at a student from all sides at times. Despite the many people trying to pull Miles down he always does what he feels is right, even if he knows there will be consequences. He cannot allow others to think for him and instead chooses to always think for himself. Miles has to learn that there will be life after high school and in order to survive he needs to look ahead. Recommended, especially for sports readers.


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