unRequired Reading Blog

07/22/2015 - 4:12pm
Empire State by Jason Shiga

Most love stories don't end with a snowball to the face. Then again, this is no love story.

Empire State, by Jason Shiga, actually starts in the Golden State: Oakland, California. Jimmy works in a library and runs his own Web site. He finds inner peace through repairing books and geeking out over sci-fi movies. As he leaves work one day, we meet his friend Sara, who greets him...with an unprovoked punch in the arm.

Sara's sarcastic and unsatisfied world view is a million miles from Jimmy's acceptance of his uncomplicated life. Still, they both find some comfort and security in each other's presence. Unfortunately for Jimmy, Sara has a yearning to leave Oakland and enter New York City's publishing industry. When she receives an internship, the call is too powerful to resist.

02/10/2012 - 3:30am
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Seth, a Drew Middle School Cafe Book teen, reviews I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

See more teen book reviews on our YouTube channel.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

 In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

05/22/2012 - 3:31pm
Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Here are the Top Teen Picks and Other Favorites selected by 7th and 8th grade Cafe Book teens at A. G. Wright Middle School:

Top Picks:

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.


Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

 


A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz 
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.
 

 

 

Other Favorites:

Akata WitchBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysThe End of the Line by Angela CerritoThe False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

A Long Wak to WaterLost in the River of GrassHuman.4 by Mike LancasterTrapped by Michael Northrop


Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Trapped by Michael Northrop

07/22/2015 - 4:12pm
Flip by Martyn Bedford

When Alex wakes on a Saturday morning, everything seems different. His mom is calling for him to hurry, but she sounds odd. And why does he need to get ready for school when it's the weekend? The last thing he remembers from the night before is leaving his best friend's house and running through the street. Now Alex feels very unusual. His mom calls again.

"Philip! It's five to eight!"

01/27/2012 - 2:49pm
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Dust and DecayIn honor of our recent Twitter (@crrlnews) follow by author Jonathan Maberry (@JonathanMaberry) check out this week's Friday Book Flick featuring Maberry talking about his dystopian zombie novel (are there any utopian zombie novels? .... hmmm) Rot & Ruin - a big favorite with Cafe Book teens this year.

If you liked Rot & Ruin you'll definitely want to put a hold on the sequel, Dust & Decay.

Check out Maberry's web site for more cool stuff.

01/26/2012 - 12:54pm
Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Cafe Book teens at Chancellor Middle School have spoken! Out of the 20 books they read throughout the fall (all published in 2011) Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby was their Top Pick.

Top Pick:

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.


Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam GidwitzRot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz came in 2nd place

and Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry came in 3rd

Brain Jack by Brian FalknerGirl, Stolen by April HenryTrapped by Michael Northrop

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner, Girl, Stolen by April Henry, and Trapped by Michael Northrop all tied for 4th place.

08/10/2015 - 10:41am
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

On a cold day in January, the 8th graders at Freedom Middle School heard the voting results . . . their 2012 Cafe Book Top Teen Picks! After reading and discussing a selection of 20 of the best teen books published in 2011, they picked their favorites plus two stand-outs that topped them all. Here they are!


Top Teen Picks (a tie!):

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

and ....

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Lost in the River of Grass
by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.

 



Favorites:

Akata WitchBrain Jack by Brian FalknerGirl, Stolen by April HenryRuby Red by Kerstin GierTrapped by Michael Northrop

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Trapped by Michael Northrop

01/26/2012 - 10:17am
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

In his book Lawn Boy, Gary Paulsen has done a wonderful job of capturing an everyday job for a tween boy--like mowing the lawn--and expanding it into a hilarious summer experience. 

Lawn Boy is a great book for boys, but I think girls will enjoy it, too. Paulsen elaborates on experiences most all teens can relate to--like not having any money and being bored during summer vacation. They’re too young to drive but not that interested in toys, unless you consider video games toys. And if they want to get new video games to play, they have to come up with the funds to buy them.

01/20/2012 - 11:37am
Trash by Andy Mulligan

In Trash by Andy Mulligan fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country's dump.

Check out this book trailer for this Cafe Book Favorite!

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