Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dan Gutman’s historical fiction novel entitled Ted & Me is a highly entertaining addition to his Baseball Card Adventure Series! Joey Stoshack (Stosh) has an unusual ability. He can travel through time. How does he complete this feat? He simply has to touch a baseball card and he is transported back in time to that era.

In Ted & Me FBI Agent Pluto contacts Joey’s mom. The FBI has a mission for Joey to fulfill. They want him to go back in time to September of 1941 to meet Ted Williams. Ted will have just completed the best batting average in the history of baseball. They want Stosh to convince Ted to visit President Roosevelt to warn him about Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor which will take place on December 7, 1941.

When Agent Pluto gives Ted the wrong baseball card from 1953, Stosh is thrown back in time to Ted William’s stint in the marines in Korea. Luckily Stosh survives the plane crash and is able to get back to his time period where Agent Pluto can give him the correct card.

Historical fiction at its best! Enjoy Ted & Me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birmingham, Alabama May 1963. We’ve Got a Job tells the powerful story of the Birmingham Children’s March through the eyes of four of its participants—Audrey Hendricks, Washington Booker III, James Stewart, and Arnetta Streeter.

Archival photographs are interspersed with the story of what took place in 1963. It was hot, hot, hot! Segregation was enforced by a white policeman named Bull Connor. As commissioner of public safety, he oversaw the police and fire departments, public schools, libraries, and the health department. He was determined to keep blacks as second place citizens.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked for the youth to march, they answered his call. The object was to fill the jails and overwhelm the system using a nonviolent approach. The jails were stifling hot—so crowded that there wasn’t room to sit. Some of the children remained in these deplorable conditions for over six days.

Read these personal accounts of what this turbulent time was like for those that survived it.

Vera and Will are very close as siblings. Will being the older of the two is protective of his sister. The future world in which they live exists after The Great War. Water has become the most valued possession—even more valuable than gold. Their mother is very ill—the consequence of having drunk the only water made available to them in the country of Illinowa.

Vera befriends a blonde, handsome young boy named Kai. Kai doesn’t attend school; instead, he lives a highly protected, secretive life. When Vera and Will discover the body of Kai’s chauffeur and bodyguard, they know Kai and his father have been kidnapped. Thus begins their quest to find Kai. By remembering conversations she’s had with Kai, Vera believes she knows where he has been taken.

Will the pirate gang led by the pirate king Ulysses help them or imprison them? Will Vera and Will ever see their deathly ill mother or father after everything goes horribly awry? Read The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher to find out!

on the line
Piper has a lot "on the line". Unlike most girls her age, Piper at age sixteen isn't interested in clothing or makeup or boys; rather, she has her heart set on winning the $25,000 grand prize for catching the biggest bonefish in the annual Bonefish Scramble Tournament on the island of Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

Piper and her best friend Benny have been scouting out the prime fishing spots for months and logging the coordinates into her GPS. She wants to have every advantage so that she can help her family by winning the $25,000.

Piper's dad owns a charter fishing service. Tourism has been off since an oil spill scared people away from the Keys and money has been tight for all the residents.

While crewing on her dad's charter fishing boat, Piper meets Logan. Being from Michigan, Logan and his dad Nick don't know much about saltwater fishing. Logan lands one of the largest bonefish they've ever caught! When Logan befriends Piper and Logan's dad Nick begins to pal around with Piper's dad, Piper wonders whether she can trust either of them? There is too much "on the line" to risk.

Jackie Nastri Bardenwerper's on the line has strongly defined, realistic characters, authentic dialogue, and an intriguing plot. The encounter with the bull shark is not to be missed!