Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fire by Cashore

Graceling by Cashore

I've kept myself away from fantasy for the entire summer and this was an amazing one to wait on. I devoured this!!

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo, a 17-yr-old, high school senior who is also on the Autistic spectrum. Marcelo is fixated on two things...religion and his IM (inner music) – his own brand of inner noise.

Marcelo is anticipating his final year at Paterson - a school for disabled kids – and his job in the stable. Dad has other ideas he wants him to work at his law firm to get a taste of the real world. Dad makes a deal with Marcelo – if he follows the rules for the summer he will allow Marcelo to decide where he attends his final year of high school. Marcelo becomes a mailroom worker with Jasmine. She is open and honest and doesn’t really want him there. But, a friendship develops. Each gives the other a listening ear without judgements attached.

The law firm is defending a windshield manufacturer for negligence. The windshield is supposed to splinter and break instead it breaks in big pieces and kills and maims people. Marcelo and Jasmine discover a photograph of a girl who lived through the horror. Now, Marcelo must decide what to do – get in touch with the lawyer for the girl and share that the company knew about the problem, or stand by his dad…

It's a story of a young man entering the bigger world and figuring out what it means to stand.

This is an excellent book for anyone who has worked with kids on the spectrum. It really provides an insight into what their world is like. How scary, how exciting and how different their view is from what we accept as our reality.

I loved this!

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is amazing! This is another book that has you on edge the entire time.

You enter the world of a Lia - a girl slowly starving herself to death. You hear her inner battle - the belief that hunger is strength. The desire to eat and the decision to stay strong. The understanding that driving requires some calories - but there is always a price to pay.

Lia is a senior who finds out that her ex-best friend, Cassie, has just died. Cassie was found alone in a motel room. Cassie had purged herself to death. She was bulemic and the wear and tear of her disease eventually killed her.

She died alone...
She called Lia over and over...
Lia ignored the calls...
Cassie is dead...

Anderson has a way of weaving a story in bits and pieces and before you know it you are embedded in the tale.

As I read this I kept debating if I really liked Lia. She had so many positives in her life, so many moments when others tried to reach out to her. But, she kept giving in to her own demons...until...

Lia's little step sister loves her, idolizes her and Lia becomes a different person with Emma. But, she crosses the line and Emma witnesses her downfall.