Nov 14, 2006

An Abundance of Katherines, John Green

find this book in the Hawley Library: An abundance of Katherines

this is from the same author as Looking for Alaska, so I have been really looking forward to reading it. And it is very good - witty, smart, quirky. The writing style is pretty similar to Looking for Alaska but the whole thing is much lighter - the plot is lighter, and the writing style follows suit.

Colin is the main character, he's got a lot of hang-ups over absolutely nothing. And people try to help him see that, but basically no one succeeds. Not even his best friend - but he goes on a road trip to try to get over his latest break-up and winds up having some quirky adventures and more fun than he knew he was capable of.

Overall, a good read.

May 18, 2006

Sloppy Firsts

If you are above the age of 14, have ever been attracted to a guy, and love a sarcastic sense of humor, this is the perfect book for you. Even if you're not easily impressed, or claim to "hate" reading, this book will change things for you. It's told in first person from Jessica Darling's point of view. It's her journal, the only thing she can tell everything to now that her best friend, Hope, has moved to Tennessee (from NJ) because her brother ODed on heroin. All the rest of Jessica's "friends" are annoying and completely clueless. Jessica uses sarcasm to hide her sadness and reading about all the ridiculous and realistic characters that go to her high school really hit home. She eventually gets intertwined with Marcus Flutie, possibly the most vivid and best male character ever written. He's nothing if not unique and is the only one that calls Jessica on how fake she's being holding all of her hatred for the people at her school inside. One problem: he used to be best friends with Hope's brother. JEssica doesn't feel she can tell her about him because she thinks Hope will blame him for her brother's overdose. With dynamic characters and a neverending plotline, told from the most relatable, and humorous, point of view, this book is my all time favorite, and I read a lot.

May 11, 2006


This book was great. I was really into it. The story had a lot of twists and made me feel like, whats next..? It kept me in suspense. The whole time I really loved Tom the main character for his honesty. The story is about his depressed, suicidal sister whom he goes to visit, (meanwhile he has found out his wife is having an affair). He ends up falling for his sisters psychatrist, while he's there to fill in the blanks to why his sister became that way. Tom goes back in his childhood and recalls when a giant comes back to rape his mother and ends up raping him and his sister too with inmates. Tom remembers bits of his life, like when his grandfather walked with the cross, his father abused his family, his brother tries to stop his town from being abolished, and he beat up an abused girls father while he was a coach. This book must be read! I enjoyed this so much and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's my new favorite.

Eye of the Needle

This was one of the best books I think I have ever read. It was suspensful, mysterious, and raw. This book was written by Ken Follett, who is probably one of the greatest writers of all time, and this book is no exception to that greatness. The book is set in World War II, and it is aobut a German spy who is looking for secrets to defeat the French army. the spies name is Henry Faber, and he goes by the code name, "The Needle."

He ends up on an island where he falls in love with a woman, her name is Lucy. Her husband, David is the man that ends up trying to kill him, but he fails. I think that my favorite scene in the book is when Henry and David end up fighting. I like this scene because it shows how much David wanted to fight for his country. He was in th middle of flight school when he lost both of his legs in a car crash.

Eye of the Needle

This was a very exciting book! I liked it. Although it was a bit boring when it spoke of Godliman and his crew. I guess I only liked the story of Faber and Lucy, which was basically the whole book. I LOVED the ending! It was somehting I wouldn't have expected. It took me by suprise at first but now that I think of it, it was bound to happen. I don't think it was a book I could read again though. It was one of those that once you knew the ending the rest of the book becomes a kind of blur. I think it would not be as interesting to reread again. Unlike some other books I have read that you could read over and over and still be interested. I love the way the author made the book soo suspenseful. Starteing something new everytime something good was about to happen. It is a book you definitly do not want to skip.

Pirates by Celia Rees

"Pirates" was an awesome book and I was amazed when I found out that it was a true story! I chose the book because of its title and it didn't let me down. The main characters, Nancy and Minerva, talk their way onto a ship full of pirates and dress and act as men. With an insane brazilian man chasing the ship, numerous attacks and bombings, and the girls trying to keep their identities a secret, this story is really exciting and very well written.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's a thrilling story that I didn't want to put down and left me wanting more when I had finished. The characters were cool and the things that happened throughout the book just blew me away! I'm definitely going to look for more books by this author :)

Rule Of The Bone

Rule Of The Bones is a great book that shows how a normal boy name Chappie (Bone) can live on his own and meet new people that he would eventually look up to as parents. He meets a Rasta follower who acts as a guardian to him and after that Bone learns the value of life and friendship. This is a very good book to read.

The Big O

This book on one of the greatest basketball players of all time is probably the greatest bibliography I have ever read. I learned so much from it and it has changed me very much. Growing up in the racist south of the USA Oscar learned how to shot with a bundle of old dirty socks in his back yard. He himself changed basketball in so many ways that you cant even imagine. Of all the people who are greats in basketball you here about people like Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James. Not that these guys are bad or anything but you have to give credit to those people who formed basketball into what it is today. Without them you probably wouldn't be watching Shaq dunking in the low post or Kobe swishing threes. I mean look at Oscar's stats if you don't know who he is.
now that you know what I mean you can tell how good he was. Considering that he was the ONLY person to ever average a triple-double over a whole season is quite a feat. To find out more all that you need to do is read this book. It's among my favorites.

Apr 12, 2006


The novel Sandwiched by Jennifer Archer was amazing. It took me a minute to relize how the book was being writen, but I ended up not being able to put the book down. It was interesting reading a book that had three different point of views in it. It made the book very interseting and enjoyble to read by all ages. It has a great ending and I did not want it to end. This was a great book about understanding changes and getting older.

Apr 8, 2006

Augusta, Gone

This is a really good book for anyone to read. It really makes you think about the way you treat your parents. In this book Augusta is an out of control teenager who's on acid, pot and all different sorts of drugs and is just impossible. Her mom tried to make everything work for her but she is also going through a divorce and has her son to worry about as well. Augusta is so bad that she has to send her away to a wilderness 6 week camp where they can get her off all these drugs. Her mom is extremely worried and bothered by this but she dosen't think Augusta is ready to come home yet and return to all of her old problems so she sends her to a school. A School where they take care of problems like these. This is a book from a mother who's daughter is going behaviorly crazy. Great book.

Apr 6, 2006

Eragon- Christopher Paolini

Eragon is a great read for any teenager who likes to read fantasy books. The book at the time it was published, was written by a sixteen year old boy. The story is about a boy named Eragon who found a rock in a forest called the spine. The rock turned out to be a dragon egg. When the egg hatched the dragon, Saphira, Eragon was given a special mark on his hand, making him the last free dragon rider. Eragon left his house with his new dragon right before two strange creatures, called Raz'zac, destroyed his home and killing his father. The Story continues with Eragon training to be a good rider and learning how to use a sword. He was taught by Brom, a storyteller from his village. The book continues with Eragons training and ends in a great battle between good and evil. The second book in the trilogy is out right now.

Apr 5, 2006

Born Confused

I really enjoyed reading Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. It really gave me a new outlook on life and how to find myself. Born Coonfused was great because i could relate to the characters. It explained daily troubles that teenagers face when we are trying to figure out who we are. It was definitely something that I did not want to stop reading. I would recomend this to anyone who is in search for themselves. It helped me out a great deal.

Apr 1, 2006

Drowning Ruth

Drowning Ruth is about hidden family secrets that can lead to tragedy and separation. The story is told by Amanda and Ruth. Amanda has an affair with a married man and tries to hide her pregnancy with this man by moving back to her home town with her sister Mathilda and her niece Ruth. Amanda has the baby and tries to leave the island, Ruth and Mathilda follow her across the ice but they fall through the ice. Ruth survives but Mathilda doesn't. Amanda gives her daughter her to a family that lives in town but does not tell them it is hers. Now that Mathilda's husband is back from war he wants to find the real reason his wife died. Now they all need to relive what happened as the truth slowly comes out. If anyone loves suspense and mysteries they should read this book.

Mar 31, 2006

Timbuktu- Paul Auster

Timbuktu is a great story about love, companionship, and dogs. The story is told through the eyes of a dog, Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones is a mutt that a poet named Willy G. Christmas adopts as a companion. Willy and Mr. Bones have many adventures before willy died. After Willy Dies, Mr. Bones runs off and has tio fend for himself in the wild. He also finds love and companionship again, even after he thought it impossible. This is a great book for any reading level and for anybody who loves dogs.

Mar 30, 2006

Crank- Ellen Hopkins

Teens everywhere should read this novel. It is a great story about problems highschoolers may encounter at some point in their lives. This trory covers rape, drugs, love-lives, and family issues. This is a great story for teens and adults everywhere

Crosses by Shelly Stoehr

This book is amazing. It is about two girls named Nancy and Katie. They both are extremely punk and try to make it through their life.

This story is basically about a few teenage girls trying to find out who they really are in all the wrong ways.

Perfect By Natasha Friend

This is a really good book about a girl with an eating disorder. It tells you that not all people with eating disorders do it to be skinny. In this case, the girl has bulimia. With her, she shoves bad feelings down with food, then releases it by purging. Isabelle (the main character) has a younger sister who found her purging one day and told her mom. Her mom made her go to "group" therapy. Where she found out the most popular girl in school go to therapy for the same problem.

I really liked this book because it was so nicely written. It was written like she was talking to you. It is one of those books where you read the first page, and can not put it down.
Two thumbs up

The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd

I decided to read this book because I had read The Secret Life of Bees and I really liked it. In this book, Jessie, the main character returns home to help her Mother who seamsto have gone crazy. The book also included a love triange, between Jessie, her husband Hugh and a local monk, Brother Thomas. Jessie feels an instent love for Brother Thomas but is that enough to end her twenty marrage with Hugh and destroy her family?
I really liked this book because there was the mystery of what really happened to Jessie's Father and why has her Mother done crazy by cutting off her fingers one by one? Add that with the new romance story with Jessie and Brother Thomas, its a good mix for everyone. When two men are fighting over a women, I usually perfere one over the other, but in this book I felt that both were perfect for her and I was going to feel bad for the one not picked. This is a good book and you should read it.

Helllllooooo Mr. Thomes class!

read anything good lately?

Feb 22, 2006

Life of Pi, Yann Martel

Find this book in the Hawley Library:
Book Life of Pi.

I think I am the last person on earth to read this book, but if you are the last person, then I think you should read it. I had shied away for so long thinking it was going to be really philosophical and over my head - I suppose you could interpret it on that level, but on the surface it is about a kid in India for half the book, and then a kid surviving in a boat with a tiger. It was incredible - very good. I really liked both sections of the book equally - at first when the India section was done I was bummed - but the boat surviving section is great - and I also thought it was going to take me a year and a day to read. It is very thick. But despite its size, its a fairly quick read.

Feb 21, 2006

Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today

Find this book in the Hawley Library:
Book Moccasin thunder : American Indian stories for today.

Two short story collection in a row! Huzzah!

I picked up this book because it has a story by one of my favorite authors ever, Sherman Alexie. I'd actually already read the story of his included here in the book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which is an incredible book. But I loved a lot of the other stories, and got an introduction to some other authors that I'll now look out for.

These stories, as a whole, do a really good job of describing the psychological and spiritual point of view of American Indians today - we all know stereotypes - this book goes deeper and explains without explaining their point of view. In other words, this collection is a great example of the power of short stories as a form - they convey vast amounts of meaning in a small amount of time and space.

Feb 20, 2006

Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, And Some Other Things . . .

Find this book in the Hawley Library:
Book Noisy outlaws, unfriendly blobs, and some other things that aren't as scary : maybe, depending on how you feel about lost lands, stray cellphones, creatures from the sky, parents who disappear in Peru, a man named Lars Farf, and one other story we couldn't quite finish, so maybe you could help us out.

I *heart* short stories. I also *heart* Mcsweeny's, from whence this book comes. There are short stories here from some of my favorite authors - Jonathan Safran Foer, Nick Honsby, Neil Gaiman - and on and on.

The book is also just plain beautifully designed. Really nice quality, color graphics. I guess I'm not going to say too much about specific stories, because a) I read it a long time ago and don't really remember specifics and b) that would go on and on and on. But it's really good. So people who like short stories should read it and then we can talk about it.

Splintering, by Eireann Corrigan

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

I really liked this book - quick read. Told in free verse from several different point of views - different people in the family talking. It's about what happens - mentally and psychologically - to people after they've been through a trauma - in this case, a guy high on drugs breaks into their house and physically assaults one of them. They're a lot of blame, a lot of fear, but also other emotions and reactions you don't expect too much.

Come Back to Afghanistan, Said Hyder Akbar

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

This is the true story of this teenager who basically grows up in California, but after the Taliban is overthrown his father - who had been a significant person in Afghani's govern't back in the day - returns and is the press person for the new president and then the govenor of Kunar provence. Said spends long summers in Afghanistan, hanging out and helping his dad and generally participating. He's able to help be a translator a lot - which is very cool.

I really enjoyed this book because it gave a good detailed look at recent events, everyday life, and examines the whole US involvement in Afghanistan debacle. Akbar makes the point that the US was never seen as an invading/occupying force as it was/is in Iraq. So if we had really invested forces and money there, the Afghani people would have supported us. But we didn't - we were there for a while, but most of our money and troops went to Iraq, where we aren't welcome.

On the downside, this book is hugely long - 335 pages! And it isn't really a quick read. It def could have been chopped down a bit - but so much is just daily reflections and descriptions of what Akbar was doing and that all adds up to an overall good understanding of what is going on there. So its hard to think about what really could have been chopped without losing some of that.

Feb 15, 2006

Under the Wolf, Under the Dog, Adam Rapp

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

I'm really glad I picked this book up and read it, because to be honest the title and the cover don't do it for me - another example of not judging a book by its cover (but really, there are so many books out there to read, so you have to make a quick decision some way or another, right?).

So this kid Steve is in a rehab facility, but we don't know exactly why to start - the book is basically his rehab journal, alternating between the events that took place to lead him there and the present events - what's going on at the clinic.

Overall, well written and interesting. The story could have been stereotypical druggie kid and stuff, but its not - a lot happens with his family - a really long, painful death quickly followed by a suicide - and how he reacts to this and how his family deals with it are all very non-stereotypical. I think people who liked Speak and The Lovely Bones will like this book.

Feb 3, 2006

Funny Little Monkey, Andrew Auseon

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

This is also a really excellent book (it's funny how sometimes I get a string of only ok ones, and then sometimes I get a run of really good ones). Arty is umm. . stunted I guess is the word. (He has to take growth hormone shots and is really small.) He is also a twin, but his twin is huge! His twin is kinda mean to him and locks him in a closet . . . ok, I am doing a really bad job of talking about this book. There are a lot of intertwining plot lines - like a school secret society to help people who are on the wrong end of the stick - and a new girl in school who is wicked rich and gorgeous and used to controlling things and decides Arty can be her boyfriend.

But basically, the reason I like this book is that it is interesting in its complication, and the characters have some good depth. There's a couple of smaller plot lines and fore-shadowing that flake out, but overall very good.

Tending to Grace, Kimberly Newton Fusco

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

I really liked this book. While its quick and short, its really pretty deep and interesting (vs. shallow and with little development of characters). Cornelia doesn't talk. She's really smart, but because she doesn't talk (she has a stutter and just got tired of how people reacted so she stopped talking) she gets put into classes that are pretty bogus. On top of this, her mom is kind of messed up. She gets into these moods, and Cornelia thinks she's the only one who can deal with this. But her mom has a boyfriend who doesn't want to drag a kid with them when they decide one day to move to Vegas.

So she gets dumped off at her crazy great-aunt's house. Her aunt lives in this rickety old house that's totally broken down and eats weird hippy food. But the most significant thing is that she won't talk for Cornelia - so Cornelia has to speak up. She's also missing her mom in a big way, and getting into fights with her great aunt. Ultimately, of course, Cornelia learns some key things about herself - but the way this is done in the book is really authentic and doesn't reek of stinky cheese like some of these books do.

Def one of the best books I've read recently.

Jan 31, 2006

The Order of the Poison Oak, Brent Hartinger

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

I'm just gonna have to come out and say it up front: this is one of those situations where the sequel is not as good as the original. I liked Geography Club a whole lot better. Anyways, in this installment, Russel decides he wants a break from being jeered at and everything in his hometown for being gay, so he decides to go with a couple of his friends from Geography Club to work at a summer camp where he is not going to be out. This would have been an interesting thing to explore - what is it like to be out and then not, and how does that feel? I guess Russell didn't really want to be out in his hometown, he was more outed, but getting back to this book -

so Russell is a camp counselor, and the first couple weeks the camp is for burn victims. So there's a lot of heavy handed metaphors about what people look like on the outside vs. their hidden identities and so on. Russell gets played big time, but eventually finds a decent relationship before the summer's over. It's not a bad book overall, there are some fun moments, and since it's so short it's not really a big waste of time or anything. I guess I was just dissapointed that it was just ok.

My Brother's Keeper, Patricia McCormick

Find this book in the Hawley Library

I haven't read Cut, which is another book by this same author, 'cuz its so stinkin' popular it's never available in the library! (yeah, yeah, I could put a hold on it, I just always forget.)

Toby is Jake's younger brother, they both live with their mom who's single and dating. Toby sees himself as the one who has to protect everyone from each other and from themselves, but what he doesn't realize is that sometimes this isn't the best idea. Like his mom is so busy dating and everything, she doesn't really notice that Jake is becoming a total stoner. And Toby decided she can't handle it even if she did know, so he covers for Jake, tells his mom stories, cleans up after his stoner friends and everything. So Jakes problem gets worse and worse, but nobody's around to try to put an end to it.

It's a really interesting story, because the author allows the characters to be really complex and have many levels of dealing with things, but it isn't a long story, so she does a good job of getting that all in there really efficiently. Not only do the characters have levels of dealing with things, but they also have pretty human and realistic motivations. Like Toby thinks he's protecting his mom and keeping his family together, but by the end we find out he's also doing it for himself, so he can feel in control of the situation.

So Hard To Say, Alex Sanchez

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library

Same author as the Rainboy Boys, Rainbow High, Rainbow Road series. This one is about an entirely different set of characters, and is, in general, more for like 8th graders rather than high schoolers. So the overall tone and style and subject matter is a bit younger. But that's all ok, because the main story/subject line is pretty relevant to anyone interested in GBLTQ issues, whatever their age. There's sort of two big questions here: 1. how do you know? and 2. what to do if your straight friend is crushing on you big time?

I found how the author dealt with question 1. really interesting, it's not something I've seen too much of in books. It seems most of the characters who come out as gay or whatever just seem to know or have always known, but there are definitely people who only discover their own orientation when they get to be a teenager. So that is something unique to this book v. a lot of the other books generally on the same topic line.

It's a good book, short, sweet, quick. Deals with something that can be heavy but puts it all in a better light and seyz, it doesn't have to be so heavy.

Jan 25, 2006

Book Awards

There's a whole new rash of young adult and high school book awards announced just this week. We're happy to report we have a lot of these books already, and will be ordering many of the ones we don't already have. If you see something interesting on one of these lists and can't find it in the library's catalog, please let us know [whslibrary AT winnacunnet DOT k12 DOT nh DOT us] and we'll try to get it.

Jan 24, 2006

The Garden, by Elsie V. Aidinoff

thegarden Find this book in the Hawley Library.

I read this book awhile ago, and combined with a bit of forgetfulness is the fact that I really need to return this very overdue book - but I wanted to mention it here and recommend it, I think especially for girls/women.

This is the story of Eve, from THE garden , told from her and the serpent's perspective. In this book, God is very typical old-testament God, very jealous and angry and, well, petty. The serpent takes on a whole new depth of character outside the Bible. He is the source of wisdom - which is neither good nor bad but does *include* bad, because wisdom includes all knowledge. In this version of the story, God is raising Adam and teaching him about the world, and The Serpent is raising Eve. Eve is very curious, and The Serpent answers all her questions. She wants to know what the world is like outside of the garden, so they go on trips.

There are a lot of surprises and intense thinking/relationship scenes. This book in no way is meant to be taken literally, or interpreted as part of the Bible or anything, it's just a story, with those characters and in that time, that gives a different perspective, one that is much more in depth.

Jan 11, 2006

Rainbow Road, Alex Sanchez

Book Find this book in the Hawley Library.

This is the third and final book in Sanchez's Rainbow trilogy (Rainbow Boys and Rainbow High were the first two). Like the first two, it is light and fun. The characters are real enough and experience things genuinely, and although these aren't particularly deep books and the characters don't reveal amazingly deep feelings or anything like that, they are enjoyable without being too fluffy.

In this one, Jason, Kyle, and Nelson (same characters), set off on a road trip across country during the summer after they graduate high school. They meet a lot of crazy people, some normal people, get into some high jinks, fall in love, fall out of love, and fall in love again. Nelson *finally* meets a great guy. Kyle *finally* gets over some of his ocd-ness and learns to relax. And Jason . . .well, Jason was never my favorite anyway. (Nelson is my favorite, but I've got a weak spot for Kyle 'cuz I'm kinda straight laced and goody goody like him. Or at least I was before I learned to not be so uptight about these things).

At any rate, now that this trilogy is done I'm really excited to read other things by this same author. Like So Hard to Say (which I requested the library buy). Anybody read that one yet?