Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Fans of Veronica Rossi’s book entitled Under the Never Sky will be thrilled with her second installment. The romantic love interest between Perry and Aria has all fans interested to see if they will finally be together.

Perry (Peregrine) now holds the title of Blood Lord of his tribal group the Tides. Since the Tides don’t take kindly to Dwellers, Aria is considered an outsider. The struggle to be accepted has left Aria estranged.  When Roar decides to leave the Tides to hopefully rescue Liv (Perry’s sister), Aria travels with him to another tribe called the Horns.
Meanwhile, the Aether storms continue to scorch the earth. No place seems safe. Maybe a large cave will give the Tides shelter.

Sable is the Blood Lord of the Horns. His marriage to Liv is about to take place. Have Aria and Roar come in the nick of time to stop it?
As the Aether storms rage, even the ultra-technical pod Reverie is no longer viable. Will it be possible to rescue Talon from Reverie before the Pod is ruined?

Everyone thinks survival from the Aether storms is tied to finding the elusive Still Blue. No one seems to know if the Still Blue really exists yet alone how to find it.

Read Through the Ever Night to see what happens!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hope Solo: My Story

Hope Solo grew up in Richland, Washington in a tract house near her maternal grandparents.  She loved her family.  Her dad stayed home and cared for her and her brother Marcus.  Her mom was the breadwinner working at a factory testing plutonium samples.  Her cherished family fell apart when her father stole checks worth $1,800.00 from Hope’s grandfather.  Their car was repossessed and their home was foreclosed on.  When Hope’s father vanished, she and her brother Marcus came to depend upon their grandparents who showered them with unconditional love and acceptance rather than her mom and a strict new step-father.

Surprisingly, when Hope was in middle school, she was assigned to write a paper about what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I am going to be a professional soccer player.” 

By senior year of high school, Hope was well on her way with 38 goals scored.  College recruiters flocked to her. Imagine Hope’s surprise when on one of her recruitment trips to Seattle, she reconnects with her father-- now a homeless man leaving under a tarp in a park where she plays a game of soccer.  Will her father’s shiftlessness affect her future?
Read this biography to find out how Hope Solo rose in her chosen career--soccer!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen

When I first looked at the book cover for this novel, I thought to myself, “This is going to be a fun, carefree book to read. It is probably about super heroes because there is a muscular looking cartoon character on the front.”
Surprisingly, I found this book to be quite a serious look at what happens to a family after one of its sons kills a fellow student who has relentlessly bullied him for years at his high school and then turns the gun on himself leading to his own suicide. I recommend this title to mature readers only.
Henry K. Larsen and his father have moved across Canada after Jesse killed Scott and then himself. They hope to start their lives fresh. Henry’s mother has had a nervous breakdown following the tragedy which has ravaged their family. She has been hospitalized near where the IT took place. (IT is how Henry refers to the tragedy.) Henry has been instructed by his grief counselor to keep a journal—thus the title of the book—The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.
Despite Henry’s resistance to keep the journal, he eventually expands on his entries. This is how the reader comes to know the angst that he and his whole family are suffering.
The funny, muscular cartoon character on the book jacket is due to Henry’s family’s fascination with the wrestling world on television.
Readers who want to understand the deep emotional toll and what happens to the remaining family members after a horrific school shooting death and subsequent suicide will gain much by reading this title.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Good Sports from Hardships to Championships by Glenn Stout

Are you a diehard fan of baseball?  If you are, you will certainly enjoy reading about five very successful baseball legends: Babe Ruth, Jimmy Piersale, Ron LeFlore, Joe Torre and Torii Hunter.

What is unique about this book is that each of these exceptional players had to overcome significant obstacles to become the superstars they eventually became.
This very accessible book is easy to read and understand.  Each player’s personal story will enrich one’s appreciation of their triumph over hardships.

There are six Good Sports  titles in this series by Glenn Stout: Baseball Heroes, Yes She Can, Soldier Athletes, Able to Play, Against All Odds, and From Hardships to Championships.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

What happened after the Little Rock Nine integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957? This historical fiction novel attempts to create the atmosphere of the town in 1958.

Even though it was the law to allow blacks to attend what were segregated white schools, in the fall of 1958, many schools refused to open rather than allow the races to mix.

Judy, Marlee's older sister is sent to live with her grandmother in Pine Bluff so she can attend high school. Marlee is in junior high and befriends a delightful new girl named Liz. Marlee has trouble speaking up for herself. Liz helps her learn coping techniques so she can vocalize her fears. When it becomes known that Liz is really a very light skinned black girl passing as white, she is forced to leave the school.

Marlee knows that friendship is more than skin deep. She misses her friend terribly and finds ways to secretly meet her and talk to her on the telephone against both their parents' wishes. There are dangerous people in town who will make trouble for "nigger lovers" or for those black people "who don't know their place and try to pass in the white world."

There is much tension in town. There are people who support the Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC) and there are those equally opposed to that called Stop This Outrageous Purge (STOP) campaign. When a case of dynamite ends up in the wrong hands, there is the real possibility of danger.

Read The Lions of Little Rock to begin to understand the complex, deep rooted hatred of the time period, and the courage of those who stood for what was right.