The votes are in and Shirley Heim Middle schoolers have made their choices. Here are their top picks for their favorite books from this year's Cafe Book program
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody.
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
When Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she is exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
Malice by Chris Wooding
Once you get into the story, there's no way out. Everyone's heard the rumors. If you gather the right things and say the right words, you'll be taken to Malice, a world that exists inside a horrifying comic book. It's a world that few kids know about ... and even fewer survive. Seth and Kady think it's all a silly myth. But then their friend, Luke, disappears and suddenly the rumors don't seem silly after all. Malice is real. Malice is deadly. And Seth and Kady are about to be trapped inside.
Pete the cat loves his white shoes. He loves them so very much that he sings about them. One day while he is walking and singing he steps in some strawberries and his shoes turn red. But instead of becoming angry, he sings about how much he loves his red shoes. When he steps in mud and his shoes turn brown, instead of becoming angry, he sings about how much he loves his brown shoes. The book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean is a great picture book about a cat that "goes with the flow."
Pete's philosophy is summed up at the end by his statement that "no matter what you step in just keep walking along and singing your song."
Kerry Williamson is 15 years old and suddenly has been selected by three of the most popular girls in school to be a part of their group. In Richard Peck's book Three Quarters Dead, we meet Tanya, McKenzie, and Natalie, the three girls who rule the school and are the meanest girls around. Kerry is surprised by this sudden attention from these three who previously ignored her. They sit with her at lunch, they include her in their shopping expeditions, and she is invited to their party preparation meetings. Tanya is clearly the ring leader of the group. She is in charge of all the activities and the wardrobe decisions. While at lunch with Tanya, Kerry begins to notice that time seems to stand still and lunch goes on much longer than it has in the past although the clock has not stopped. There are several significant occurrences like this that Kerry notices but she is so happy to be part of the group that she ignores any signs that things may be weird.
"Beneath heaven is hell. Beneath hell is furnace." That is the description by 14-year-old Alex of Furnace, a prison one mile below the surface of the earth. When you are sentenced to Furnace you are sentenced for life. This gripping tale is Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith. In this story we meet Alex, who is arrested after he and a friend are caught during a burglary. However, the police are not your typical law-enforcement officers, as they are clothed all in black. Without any of the requisite procedures, during the arrest they shoot Alex's friend dead in front of him. Alex is taken to court and found guilty of murder. Despite his and his parents' pleas for an appeal he is sentenced to life in prison with no parole. Not just any prison but Furnace, where there are no visitors and no chance of ever getting out.
Alex arrives to find a tough world where survival is a daily concern. He quickly learns that friendships are not part of the Furnace world, and it is every man for himself. Gangs abound, the food is disgusting, and guard dogs tear the inmates apart. Alex quickly learns from his street-smart roommate to keep a low profile and not to draw attention to himself. This is especially the case when, during the night, evil guards manuever through the prison and randomly select the next victim. The victims are taken away and return as killing machines. Alex decides he wants out. So he and his roommate devise a clever escape plan. But it is very risky.
That time is upon us. That time when we start sniffling and coughing. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead is about one of those days when you just want to go back to bed. Amos McGee is the cheerful zookeeper at the local zoo. Every morning he "ambles" down to the bus stop after his breakfast of oatmeal and tea to catch the number 5 bus to the zoo. When he arrives there he always makes sure to spend time with his friends before he starts working. He plays chess with the elephant, he races with the turtle, and he sits quietly with the penguin. This particular day, Amos wakes up with the sniffles and his legs are achy. He decides to stay home and not to go to work.
Well, after some time has passed the animals begin to worry when Amos has not arrived at his usual time. The elephant has the chess board ready, the turtle is ready to race, and the penguin waits patiently alone. "Where is Amos?" they all wonder. Tired of waiting and concerned for their friend, the animals decide to go and check on Amos. So, they board the bus and head to Amos' house, where they arrive to find him not well. They each tend to Amos in their own special way, and then they end the day with a pot of tea.
Jem stays away from people. She is a loner and she likes it that way. Then she meets Spider one day under a bridge in London. As much as she tries, he won't leave her alone. She rarely makes eye contact with people and for good reason. When Jem looks into people's eyes she can see the day they are going to die. She looks into Spider's eyes. This is the basis for the story Numbers by Rachel Ward (audiobook version).
Despite Jem's efforts, she and Spider form a friendship, which eventually evolves into something more when they decide to run away together. This happens after a trip to the London Eye. Jem looks into the eyes of the people waiting in line to board the attraction and she realizes that they all have the same death date...that very day. Jem suddenly realizes that something catastrophic is going to happen and that she and Spider have to get away immediately. While they are running away a tragic event occurs. Jem and Spider are safe...but are they? The surveillance cameras capture their escape and suddenly they are wanted by authorities for questioning. Jem and Spider steal a car and head west across England. As they continue to outrun the authorities, their relationship grows.
Fast paced and gritty ...this audio will keep you on the edge of your seat. The reader is adept at the various accents found throughout England. The story is touching and engaging. Jem and Spider provide such compelling characters that you can't help rooting for them.
The ending was stunning and completey unexpected...at least by me!!!
It seems today that there are very few original screenplays. Often when I go to a movie, I find out it was a book first. So I started to do some research and that research turned into a list. When it was all said and done, I created a list of books with teen appeal that have been made into movies.
Be sure to catch the premiere of the Reel Good Reads booklist. On it you will find some really great titles ...yes these were books before they were movies. There are some old favorites and some new surprises. You can find all of these titles at the library. Place a hold on them through the catalog.
Be the first to read them before everyone finds out!!!!
An anonymous blogger named Str-S-d announces that she hates Lucy Cunningham and wishes her dead. A few days later Lucy disappears. Madison Archer drove Lucy home the night she went missing. Madsion receives messages that warn she could be next. The mysterious blogger posts another name and that student goes missing...and then a third. Madison decides that she needs to find her missing friends before it is too late. In addition to the strange blog postings, Madsion receives hastily scribbled notes from a "friend." These notes provide clues as to the circumstances surrounding the disappearances of Madison's friends.
Madison is so freaked out by all of this that she hardly notices the attentions of Tyler. He is the new boy in town and kind of mysterious. No one knows much about him. He and Madison work together to find their missing classmates. As Madison and Tyler become closer, there are some details that are revealed about him. He is not who he says he is and has a motive for being in that town that goes beyond going to the high school.
Another great book from teen favorite author Todd Strasser. This one will keep you on the edge of your seat, and you won't believe the ending!!
Thanks for using Bookmatch. I am glad that you liked Lady J. Here are some other title you might try:
Cafe Book 2010 has come to a close at Heim Middle School. We had a great time sharing new books and talking about them all while eating lunch. 7th and 8th grade students came together, ate, and talked about new books in the school library. After all the final votes were tallied ... the results are...
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Eon Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Faulkner
Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
If the Witness Lied by Caroline Cooney