Teen Book Review: The Hunger Games

hungergamesrev.jpg The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review by Mikayla, Cloverdale, 11th grade

Panem lies in the ruins of what was once North America.  Panem, the Capitol, is surrounded by 12 outlying districts.  Harsh and Cruel the Capitol has a malicious way of keeping the districts in line.  By forcing them to send one boy and one girl to compete in a fight to the death on live T.V.  The Hunger Games.  When her little sister’s name gets pulled at the reaping Katniss steps up to take her place.  Survival is second nature for Katniss.  However, when her fellow tribute turns out to be Peeta Mellark, the boy with the bread, she will have to make difficult choices.  Her decisions will weigh survival against humanity and life against life.


Do you remember what NaNoWriMo is?  Last November, teenspace, wrote an article about NaNoWriMo challenging teens to write a novel in 30 days.  Annika from Rincon Valley took this challenge head on and met her goal!

NaNoWriMo by Annika, Rincon Valley, 7th grade
Do you love books?  Well, write one!  When most people think of writing a novel, it’s like a giant monster looms over their head.  They’re scared to start, scared of what people would think, and scared of the very concept of putting together their very own book.  November is a time to push away those fears; a time to try new thins and reach new dreams.  November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  The goal of 50,000 words haunting their dreams, they band together to fight the evil demon known as their own novel.

What people don’t understand about NaNoWriMo is that writing isn’t for ‘smart people.’  It’s not for people who have 4.0s or aren’t failing classes.  Writing is for anyone.  Yes, it takes motivation, it takes patience.  NaNoWriMo is a time to get rid of these fears and try your hand at writing a novel.

Anyone can read a book.  Anyone can write a book.  This gloomy November, why don’t you give it a shot?

Michael L. Printz Award…

The Michael L. Printz Award is given to one book in the past year that “that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature”.  This year the award goes to…

going.jpg  Going Bovine by Libba Bray!
Going Bovine was recently reviewed by a staff member of Sonoma County Library.  Click here to see that review!

The Printz Honor Books go to:

Charles and Emma:  The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
Tales of the Madman Underground:  An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes

Stay tuned for more great award winner books!

Teen Book Review: Dramarama

drama.jpg Dramarama by E. Lockhart
Review by Annika, 7th grade, Rincon Valley

Sarah “Sadye” Paulson is the exact opposite of your average drama kid.  She’s tall and big nosed, proud and obnoxious.  Her only friend is Demi Howard, a gay African-American with an up-front personality.  Wanting to get out of Brenton, Ohio, Sayde comes up with the idea to go to drama camp at Wildewood Academy.  To Sadye’s shock, both of them are accepted into a summer of dancing, acting, and singing.  However, chaos and wonder soon ensure at the camp.  Slowly, Sadye begins to lose her closest friend as the differences between them become more and more apparent.  Auditions are failed, hormones are tossed, and song and dance rule the summer at Wildewood Academy.  Dramarama ends with a twist ending, something no one would see coming that will make one drop the book down for a moment and just stare.  It is a wonderful book for anyone taking drama, Sadye’s feelings come alive from the page, so alive that anyone can feel Sadye’s emotions and imagine themselves in the story.  Savor it slowly or gobble it up fast, this book is amazing eye-opener that takes the reader to the very depths of human emotion.

Book Spotlight: Going Bovine

going.jpg Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Review by Susan, Staff member, Central Branch

 Going Bovine by Libba Bray is about Cameron, a less than ambitious teen, somewhat cynical, with an amusingly sarcastic sense of humor.  He is not very noticeable, nor popular with the “in-crowd”, (does he really care about that?).  His twin sister, a cheerleader, is nearly perfect, of course, as well as her ex-football star boyfriend.  Family life is drab and disappointing.

One day in class he starts to “see” things.  These develop into enough intense “hallucinations” that serve to get him expelled from high school, then taken to a drug counselor and a psychiatrist.  Finally, after having been prescribed mind numbing anti-psychotic drugs, it is discovered that he has contracted Mad Cow Disease, an illness that is fatal and affects the brain.  An explanation for his hallucinations?  Or are they REALLY  hallucinations?  His quest to survive the disease begins:  adventures that are hilarious, fantastical, soul and mind expanding, plus mournfully sad-all at the same time.  His adventures parallel Don Quixote, a book that he was required to read in a class he found most uninteresting.  He is no longer uninterested in life however, once the diagnosis is made, and his journey is truly exceptional and heroic.  The reader is pushed to ask, “What was real or imagined”?  I chose to believe that it was ALL real.

Teen Book Review: Lena

lena.jpg Lena by Jacqueline Woodson
Review by Annika, Rincon Valley, 7th Grade

Lena and her younger sister, Dion, have been abused by their father.  Reverting to the only option they have left, Lena and her sister take on a dangerous journey cross-country.  Days and weeks go by, and the nights get colder.  Lies that the two of them tell people get harder and harder to stomach, and soon Dion begins questions their motives.  When things can’t seem to get any worse, they are offered two choices.  It’s up to Lena to decide what path they will take.  Beautifully descriptive and accurate, Woodson creates a world with a mixture of joy, sorrow, and suffering.  Lena is a book that anyone can relate to, finding themselves in one of the many characters.  Many a reader will put this book down with a new opinion on the human nature and what humans are really like.  Not many books are capable of accomplishing the heart-wrenching scenes found in Lena, making it even more of a star among the bookshelf.

Winter Books

When its chilly outside the best thing to do is curl up inside with a good book.  So I decided to create a book list a winter theme.  Enjoy!

brian.jpg Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors   coffee.jpg

triple.jpg Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Elizabeth Gehrman

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer express.jpg

girl.jpg Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Season of Ice by Diane Les Becquets season.jpg

trap.jpg The Trap by John E. Smelcer

The White Gates by Bonnie Ramthum white.jpg