Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Talk: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Book talk of The DIsreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart.
@ Amazon:

National Book Award:
Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature:
Me: or

Thursday, May 19, 2011


To my 13 subscribers (yes, I checked), I'm changing my URL. This is an effort to streamline my online identity as The Supplier, and provide continuity across platforms. Hopefully, the next post you see from me will come from My fingers are crossed, and see you on the other side.

BTW, if it doesn't work, I'll be right back here--same bat time, same bat channel.

Monday, May 16, 2011

YA Lit (if I had an inequality sign I'd use it here) PSA

In my twitter stream this morning, I found this tweet from @readingrants

I followed the link to @bkshelvesofdoom's blog, then followed the link to the New York Times article they're referencing here. The statement that got me from the article (which you should go read) was:

The need to tell a good story gets in the way of the message.

You're kidding me, right? Since when does message come before story? Mind you, I'm all for bibliotherapy. I practice bibliotherapy on myself all the time. I think young adult literature can be great starting place for conversation. But it's always about the story.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami YodaThe Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is cute. As I was reading this, I could already picture the student I want to give it to next year. In the novel, Dwight is a social outcast. Then he creates the Origami Yoda. Tommy, who compiles the case files on Dwight and the Origami Yoda, is trying to figure out whether or not to trust the Origami Yoda's advice.
In the midst of all the books with heavy topics that I like to read, Origami Yoda was a nice break. The second book in this series by Tom Angleberger, which will have something to do with Darth Paper, will be released in August. Look for it.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Zen And The Art Of Faking It

Zen And The Art Of Faking ItZen And The Art Of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The only other Sonnenblick book I've read is After Ever After, which I call the funniest sad book I've ever read. I picked up Zen and the Art of Faking it because of After Ever After, and because I was the kind of kid who wanted to move away and reinvent myself, which is essentially what the protagonist, San Lee, does. Concealing the fact that he's adopted and that his father is in jail, San decides to present himself as a Zen Buddhist, drawing on his the beliefs and mores of his culture.

How hard is it, though, to pretend you're someone that you're not?

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Give a Boy a Gun

Give a Boy a GunGive a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can't remember where I was when I learned of the shooting at Columbine. I'm fairly certain I was somewhere in North Central, but I have no recollection of any more than that.

Given that bullying is a hot topic in the news right now, Todd Strasser's Give a Boy a Gun has even more relevance. I, too, think about the kids I see in the hallways of the school where I work who are bullied and who get ignored when they protest because their tormenters are the golden boys of the school, and what they're doing isn't recognized as bullying.

The novel is framed as a news report, compiled by the stepsister of one of the boys involved in trapping everyone in the gym. The compilation is arranged chronologically, allowing readers to see the evolution of the protagonists' disillusionment with people and the school administrators and the evolution of their anger with the fact that nothing will change unless they change it.

At the bottom of many pages, Strasser included quotes from Rolling Stone, The New York Times and from interviews with people from Columbine. This gives the novel a heightened sense of realism--connecting it with an event that has occurred in the nation's history that people still talk about.

Give a Boy a Gun is going to be added to both my bullying list for novel/non-fiction study next year.

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Review: Voices after Midnight

Voices after MidnightVoices after Midnight by Richard Peck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up Voices After Midnight after looking for it for a long time. I remembered that the story had something to do with time travel, and an old-fashioned elevator, but nothing else. Thank goodness for Goodreads. I submitted a query, and found out that someone else had made a similar query and received a response.

This was a story I remember loving in my childhood. As a more mature reader, I found that it lacked details in many places. I wanted to know the characters better. While the story was quite fantastic (in the supernatural sense), I was a little disappointed that it didn't live up to my third grade memories. (Honestly, I'm glad it didn't. It would mean I either had highly developed sensibilities as an eight year old, or, more likely, that I did not become more discriminating as a reader.)

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Review: Shine

ShineShine by Lauren Myracle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've enjoyed other Lauren Myracle novels--the Internet Girls series, Kissing Kate--so I was optimistic going into this one. Myracle didn't disappoint.

Shine is a coming of age story. Cat has kept to herself since an unfortunate incident (to put it midly) from middle school. When her former best friend, Patrick, gets beaten, tied to a gas pump and left to die with the gas nozzle in his mouth, Cat decides that it's time to make up for the time she did not speak up for Patrick.

In her quest to find out who hurt her friend, she finds out that in her self-imposed absence, people around her have grown up, changed, and may not be who she thought they were.

This one may be difficult for struggling readers. The story is interwoven with flashback as Cat reflects on the events that brought her to the place she's currently in. Keeping up with the timeline may be difficult.

The fact that Patrick is gay is an aspect that helps the story move along, but it's not overstated or heavy handed. The story is really about Cat and her own path to forgiveness and her own return to the world.

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Review: Rebel Angels

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2)Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I quite love the type of book that keeps me guessing until the end. The girls, Gemma, Felicity and Ann are on the search for Circe, who wants to harness the power of the realms for herself. As I read, I told myself, it can't be (this person) but I know it is. But it could also be this other person. I'm not sure.

I like being unsure of who the antagonist is and how they fit into the story. If I can guess too easily, there is little incentive to finish.

Rebel Angels kept me engaged, from trying to figure out who Circe was to watching Pippa become corrupted by the realm, to wondering, along with Gemma, who she could trust and what he implications for trusting the wrong people are.

Because it's a trilogy, I knew going in that Gemma wasn't going to die, but their discovery of Circe's identity and the events that ensue, left me wondering what Libba Bray had in store for the third novel.

Hopefully my copy will come in the mail soon; I can't wait to read the last book in this series.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

#bookstack happiness, Borders sadness

Today was my last day in Indianapolis, visiting my family and watching my brother graduate from college. There's this cafe I like up near Keystone at the Crossing, and my sister and I took my mom there for a Mother's Day lunch. Fantastic omelets, by the way. Around the corner from the cafe is

I used to come here when I was in high school (which is down the street). They had the best selection of jazz. So it made me sad to see this:

But, and I'll admit it, I'm a little bit of an opportunist, so I went in and came out with

That haul doesn't even count the books I picked up at the two Half-Price Bookstores my brother and I went to. Good thing I left space in my duffle.

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