Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stronger by Jeff Bauman with Bret Witter Non-fiction-Memoir

I remember seeing smoky photos posted on Facebook within minutes of the bombing at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  When I saw them, I thought maybe someone had set off a smoke bomb.  Never did I think it was another terrorist attack!

Unfortunately for Jeff Bauman, he was at the finish line waiting for his girlfriend Erin to cross when Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed the black backpack with the bomb at Jeff’s feet. Imagine Jeff’s fear when he turned to see that Tamerlan was no longer there but his unattended black backpack was! Within seconds the bomb contained inside the bag went off-- blowing off Jeff’s feet and legs. It is a miracle he survived this heinous attack on innocent people.

There is a famous photo of Jeff being wheeled by a man in a cowboy hat from the bombed area to an ambulance.  That iconic photo has become a symbol for this entire tragic event.

There were many reflections of Jeff’s that were stunning to me.  He survived the loss of his legs and was still conscious!! He tried to tell the ambulance attendants, “I know what happened. It was a bomb. I saw the guy who did it.” But Jeff was slipping in and out of consciousness.  He finally asked to be put under. Because the EMT’s misspelled his name as Bowman, police were not able to find him. They simply weren’t looking at the hospital records for Bauman.

Read this highly informative book to grasp the courage it takes to come back from an event as devastating as the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Haven

Shiloh and her group of friends at Haven Hospital and Halls are known as Terminals. Their lives are highly regulated. They drink the “tonic” they are given before bedtime as they are told to do.  The music begins and within minutes all are magically deeply asleep.
The “tonic” is placed beside their bed when they awaken to another piece of music. Everything about their lives is regulated.

They have been taught to never touch each other. Touching could spread contagion. Yet, despite all these rules, at least two Terminals per month are removed due to what they are told is disease.
When Dr. King and Principal Harrison come through the lunch room doors, everyone is silent. All know someone will be removed.  Upon their return, it is obvious operations have always been needed to contain the disease in the students who have been removed. Some of a lung removed, others need to have an arm or a leg amputated to contain the disease. Despite witnessing this event, students believe “We are lucky to live here. Haven Hospital and Halls is the finest Treatment Center available.”
But is Haven Hospital and Halls the safe place it claims to be?

Shiloh begins to doubt when Gideon her friend starts to question: “No more! There has to be a promise. This is wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way.  We all know we’re Terminals, but what we don’t know is why. Why us?”

Shiloh begins to wonder--could Terminals be cured? While others feel Gideon had a mental malfunction, Shiloh and another boy Daniel feel he is making perfect sense.
Is rebellion possible?  Read The Haven to find out!

Don't Turn Around

Off the grid and on the run describe Noa perfectly.  She has been a product of what she refers to as the failed foster system ever since her parents died.

A total loner, she has created a fake identity, bank account and shadow life.  Her mantra is “trust no one.”  Noa’s expert hacker skills have made this type of existence possible until the unthinkable happens.
Noa wakes up on the cold stainless table- an IV in her arm, a scar on her chest and absolutely no memory of how she got there.  At first she believes she must have been the victim of a car accident as she mistakenly believes she must be in a hospital.  But it doesn’t smell like a hospital and the people don’t appear to be doctors.  Pulling the IV from her arm, she makes a daring escape.  She’s right!  This is not a hospital. Rather it is a warehouse!

Her mind is filled with questions: Why is she so cold? How come she is no longer hungry? Where is she and most importantly why is she here?  Noa’s survival strategies kick in full force and she is able to flee but will she ever be safe again?  Is there a tracking device inside of her chest?  Is this why she was operated on?
Read this fast paced mystery thriller to find out!
Note: Book #2 is entitled: Don’t Look Now.  Book #3 Don’t Let Go  won’t be released until August 26, 2014.