unRequired Reading Blog
Robbie is in middle school and has a pretty typical life in The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito. His mom runs a day care business from their home, his dad goes to work, and his beloved Uncle Grant--almost ready for deployment to Iraq--trains with Robbie to run long distance. A new boy named Ryan comes to town and befriends Robbie, and Robbie reluctantly accepts Ryan's friendship. Ryan's home life is very different from Robbie's. His mother is in the "hospital," and he hasn't seen his younger sister in months. He lives with his grandparents in a dilapidated old house that is on the verge of being condemned-- so much so that his house is regarded by the other teens in town as a haunted house. He rarely has any food available--certainly none to share when he has a friend over.
After escaping imprisonment by the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, siblings Wisty and Whit Allgood, who possess magical powers, establish themselves as leaders of the Resistance, a hidden community of teenagers like themselves, hunted by the state and determined to defy its ban on the arts, magic, and all other forms of creativity.
In Cassandra Clare’s novel City of Bones, Clary Fray is just an average girl living in New York city until she witnesses a boy getting murdered by three teenagers covered with intricate tattoos and carrying bizarre weapons. Clary wants to go to someone about the murder, but the body mysteriously disappears out of thin air and she is the only person who can see the strange teenagers. What Clary soon finds out is that these teenagers are Shadow Hunters, warriors whose job is to hunt down and kill demons, and to keep a watchful eye on the other creatures that go bump in the night. Soon events take a turn for the worst when Clary herself is attacked by a demon and her mother is kidnapped and placed into a magically induced coma.
Clary can’t understand why any of this is happening -- she is just a normal girl with an average life, and nothing strange had ever happened until she met the Shadow Hunters. But, what she soon finds out is that there are secrets about her past and events that have been wiped from her memory. Now, she needs the Shadow Hunters to remember her past and rescue her mother just as much as they strangely need her to defeat the malicious Valentine, a powerful Shadow Hunter who has turned against his own kind.
Best friends forever, Lani and Erin have been friends since they can remember in Susane Colasanti's Something Like Fate. Their lives are tied together by a tragedy that happened years ago, and neither girl can now imagine a life without one another. They have always been inseparable but their lives are rapidly changing, moving them farther away from each other.
Lani is an environmental activist and a high school student. In her school, it isn't exactly cool to care about the environment. Her best friend Erin is in the popular crowd, the Golden Kids. They used to both be part of the group but when Lani quit hanging out with the group and stopped going to their parties, she fell out of touch with the Golden Crowd. The best friends have a hard time spending time together with Erin hanging out with the popular kids and Lani promoting recycling and green activities.
Coming soon ... Envy (an Empty Coffin novel) by Gregg Olsen: Fifteen-year-old twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan of Port Gamble, WA, known as "Empty Coffin" because of a local legend, investigate a former friend's Christmas suicide and, along the way, discover a secret from their own past.
Jason Blake isn't a "neurotypical" kid. Jason is an autistic 12-year old struggling to live in a world filled with "neurotypicals," who unsuccessfully try to understand the problems he faces in day-to-day life. In the book, Anything but Typical, Nora Raleigh Baskin demonstrates what it is like to be a sixth grader with autism.
Jason tries to express himself with others but finds that people don't like to take the time to get to know and understand him. The only place that Jason feels safe to communicate is online. There he writes and posts short stories on a Web site where young writers share their work amongst each other. There he meets Rebecca; they quickly begin helping each other with their writing. Jason strikes up a friendship with Rebecca but fears that they could never meet due to his autism.
Are you a fan of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead? Then you'll definitely want to check out Bloodlines, the first book in her new series:
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.
Find out more at the Bloodlines web site.
Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of her family's SUV. She is sick and her stepmother has gone into the pharmacy to pick up her medicine. She left the engine running because she was only going to be a minute. Griffin is in the parking lot of the shopping center looking for packages in cars that he can steal. He sees the SUV with the engine running and he steals it. Cheyenne is still asleep in the back seat. She wakes up to find that she is in her car and it is being stolen. Griffin has no idea that Cheyenne is in the back. Oh yes, and one more thing....Cheyenne is blind in Girl, Stolen by April Henry.
Shaun Tan has created a book with visually stimulating pictures and rich text in Lost and Found. This book is a compilation of four stories addressing the concepts of loss and hope. The tale is enhanced through the vivid and inventive illustrations accompanying the stories. Tan's muted tones create sometimes somber settings juxtaposed with the vivid introduction of a surprise element. For example, in the first story “The Red Tree,” Tan takes the reader on a melancholy journey through sadness and despair with a stunning surprise in the simplicity of a red leaf. The reader finds herself thrust into a hopeful and encouraging element that compels the character to smile.
Are you a fan of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger?
Then you'll want to check out Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book.
While you're waiting for the book, spend your time (before the homework starts piling up) making origami Darth Papers, as shown by Tom Angleberger in this video: