Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Descent

Looking closely at the cover of this book entitled First Descent, the reader sees a kayaker through the scope of a high powered rifle in what appears to be a rainforest or jungle. This cover couldn’t have been a better choice to encapsulate this high paced adventure story.

Seventeen-year-old Rex lives with his mother and grandfather in Milltown, Alberta in Canada. He has trained relentlessly to become a world class kayaker. His goal is to complete the descent of a river in Columbia, South America that his grandpa had attempted in his younger days.

 When his grandpa decides to sponsor him on the trip, Rex is thrilled! The area where he will be attempting the descent is very remote. The Tourism Board of Columbia has said it is a safe area for travelers to explore or his gramps and mom would never have allowed Rex to travel there.

Rex will have to depend on others. His Spanish is sparse. He will need trained kayaking companions and a local guide as well as an outfitter from whom to rent equipment.

The reality of the political turmoil in Columbia near the El Furioso River is quite different from reports that the tourism board shared. There are paramilitary forces fighting guerrilla forces. The indigenous peoples are being threatened daily. The soldiers of Columbia are not able to control the area.

Will Rex be able to trust the indigenous girl named Myriam Calamb├ís who is guiding him? Will Rex’s kayaking companions stay the course when the going on the river becomes more challenging? Will the guerrilla forces in the region seek out this white skinned boy? Is the El Furioso a deadly river? Read this adventure story to find out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reel Life Starring Us

Chelsea has always lived in the wealthy part of town that feeds into Rockwood Hills Middle School. Her father has had a prominent job in banking. Chelsea wants for nothing. Whatever the latest fashion for teens is she has. Clearly she is one of the most popular girls in the school. She and her clique of the other most popular kids in the school rule it. However, Chelsea has a secret this year that she feels she must keep from her friends at school or she will lose her social status. Since she has had mono for the first several weeks of school, when she returns, she is paired with Dina who has just moved into the district. 

Dina’s family decided to move closer to her grandparents who live in the area. Dina’s previous middle school was small and had an artsy flare. Dina developed a talent for creating videos.  Everyone at her previous school knew each other and cliques did not rule the school. She is in for a big shock when she is “chipped” the first day of classes. Students crush potato chips and dump them in unsuspecting kids backpacks.

In social studies class Dina and Chelsea are paired to create a video for the fiftieth celebration of the school. Will Chelsea be able to give this new girl a chance or will she be worried about what her friends think of Dina? Will Dina be able to trust Chelsea after one of Chelsea’s friends posts an unflattering video of Dina on Facebook?

Girls who are fans of chic lit will enjoy this title. Watch the video of the author, Lisa Greenwald. She could name a character in her next book after you!