Posts Tagged 'siblings'

The Gifted, the Talented, and Me by William Sutcliffe

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Number of Pages: 323

Sam is shocked when he learns that his father sold his company and they are leaving the only town they’ve ever known to move to London where he and his siblings can attend some fancy Liberal Arts school. He seems to be the only one resisting this change, however. His younger sister loves to draw and is excited to attend more art classes and his older brother is a musician and is looking forward to possibly finding people he can start a band with. Sam’s mom is the most excited of all as she plans to turn their new shed into a creative workspace where she can find her passion. Sam was perfectly fine where he was, but reluctantly starts this new school. He quickly learns that he does not fit in anywhere in his new school and the drama kids in particular don’t let him forget it. When he finally decides he does not care what others think he lets his insecurities go and tries out for the school play. Can Sam really act in a play in front of everyone? Is it possible to find a way to fit in at this crazy new school that doesn’t even allow soccer? Will the rest of his family find happiness in this new place?

A lot of readers will identify with Sam because he just wants to fit in and to him it feels like everyone else is having such an easy time doing that while he feels left out. It is important for him to realize, however, that even though it seems like everyone else has it all figured out they all have their own issues to deal with as well. Even Jennifer, the seemingly perfect popular girl that Sam quickly falls for, has some unpleasant things to deal with regarding her boyfriend. At the same time, it isn’t until Sam starts trying to make the most of his new environment that he begins to actually feel like he could be happy here. The characters are all well developed and engaging, making Sam’s life seem believable and normal (including sibling rivalry and some schoolyard bullying). Recommended for readers who like sympathetic characters that they can identify with.

Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

signs point to yes

Genre:  Romance

# of pages:  265

RAC:  Yes

Jane takes a job as a nanny for three small girls one summer because she doesn’t want to take the unpaid internship her mother found for her.  The little girls happen to have an older half brother, Teo.  Teo does not know Jane very well because she and his best friend do not get along for some unknown reason.  As they start seeing each other more often and getting to know each other they start to form a strong attraction.  Meanwhile, Jane discovers that Teo has been secretly looking for his father whom he has no recollection of ever seeing.  Jane decides to try and help find Teo’s father thinking she is doing him a favor, but things do not go as planned.  Will these two every overcome all the obstacles standing in their way to find true love?  Will Teo ever find his dad?  Will Jane ever decide what she wants to do after high school?

This book is a sweet, light teenage romance for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.  The supporting characters are fairly one-dimensional but very entertaining and Jane and Teo have a sweet relationship that young readers will want to know more about.  Many ideas are mentioned, but not stressed in too great of detail such as bisexuality, death of a parent, and choosing options other than college after high school.  The characters will be relatable to many readers without becoming too preachy or insufferable regarding their feelings and beliefs.  Recommended for fans of teen romance books.

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

bruiser

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  328

RAC Book:  Yes

Tennyson and Bronte are siblings whose parents are English professors.  Tennyson feels very protective of his sister, Bronte, which is why he is upset when he learns she is dating Brewster who is known as Bruiser around their high school.  Tennyson tries intimidating Brewster and even follows him to try and get him to leave his sister alone, but what he ends up finding is that Brewster is covered in bruises and other injuries.  This leads Tennyson to believe that Brewster is being abused at home, but upon further inspection he realizes that Brewster’s situation is a whole lot more complicated than that.  Brewster, through no effort on his part, takes on the pain of anyone he cares about.  As Tennyson and Bronte start to get to know him they start to like having him around and vow never to tell Brewster’s secret.  The problem is that this unusual power is killing Brewster and he does not know if he can stop it before it’s too late.  What will he have to give to protect those he loves?

This story is very different and unique which is why it is so captivating and engaging.  Shusterman creates a set of characters that any reader can empathize with.  The chapters alternate between Bronte, Brewster, and Tennyson, which also helps the reader to see the situation through multiple perspectives.  This book is recommended for everyone, but could be especially useful with reluctant readers.


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