Friday, January 22, 2010

One School, One Book Selection

This year's One School, One Book title is Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. This is the story of Hannah Baker, the events leading to her suicide, and Clay, a boy she left behind. Two weeks after Hannah's suicide, Clay comes home to find a box at his door, addressed to him. In the box are cassette tapes, recorded by Hannah before her death. On the tapes she tells her story to thirteen people, each of whom played some role in her decision to end her life. Like Rachel's challenge, Hannah's story reminds us that the little things we do, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to us, can have a profound impact on someone else.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

One School, One Book

Three titles are currently being considered for the One Book, One School selection. They are Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, Peak, by Roland Smith, and Notes from the Midnight Driver, by Jordan Sonnenblick. All three are young adult novels with teens as main characters and all can be tied, in some way, to Rachel's Challenge. Several students are reading these titles now and will soon be giving feedback to the teachers on the committee to assist in making the final decision. If you would like to get involved, see me in the library.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Host

This month's student book club selection is The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Her Twilight books have been wildly popular here and I expect that this will be a hit as well. This time the topic is not vampires, but rather, peaceful alien parasites that invade their human hosts and seemingly do good. But there are some who want to retain their free will and fight the presence of the parasites. Once again, the students selected the book and I think they will enjoy it. I'm hoping some more students will join us this time around.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Lost Symbol

I finished Dan Brown's Lost Symbol over the weekend and while I didn't think it was quite as good as the last two Langdon books, I enjoyed it and recommend it. Like the others, this book opens with a gruesome discovery that propels Professor Robert Langdon into a mystery involving a secret society and a fanatic, but this time the setting is Washington D.C. Once again, science and religion play a major role. Though I was able to figure some things before they were revealed,it was still a compelling read and really made me want to visit our nation's capital. I have passed it on to my husband but will donate it to the Norton High School Library when he is finished. If you haven't already read them, Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, Digital Fortress, and Deception Point are all available here at the NHS Library.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Student Book Club

This year I decided to see if there was any interest in a student book club. I put in an announcement for an organizational meeting and had three students attend. After talking a bit about what we all like to read, the students selected Susan Pfeffer's The Dead and the Gone as our first title. The Old Towne Hall Bookstore has agreed to offer a 20% discount to any student who buys the book and mentions that they are part of the book club. The club will meet to discuss the book on Tuesday, October 13 after school in the library. All are welcome to join us. Click on the link below for a synopsis and reviews of The Dead and the Gone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gone, Baby, Gone

I finally watched the film adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Gone, Baby, Gone over the weekend. I read the book more than a few years ago so I don't have all of the details in my head, however, the story stayed with me. That said, I felt that while the film didn't follow the book exactly (as films rarely do) this was still a faithful adaptation of Lehane's story. When I say faithful adaptation, I mean that although some of the details have been changed, the author's intent remains in tact. Detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find Amanda McCready, a four year old abducted from the apartment she lived in with her drug addicted and negligent mother. The story takes place mostly in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston and is directed by Ben Affleck. Affleck does a great job capturing the character of Dorchester and it's residents and most of the actors did a well with the Boston accent, mostly by not trying too hard. The one sore spot was Amy Madigan as Bea McCready, Amanda's aunt. Having lived in Boston for ten years, I found her failed attempt to mimic the accent a bit tough to take. Otherwise, I enjoyed the film adaptation, though not quite as much as I enjoyed the book

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Book of Air and Shadows

I've been so busy in recent months that I haven't had much time to read just for pleasure but February vacation provided the opportunity to do just that. We took a family vacation to Mexico and while on the plane, on the beach, and by the pool I read The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. The book was donated to our library by Mr. Dewar and did not disappoint. The story begins with intellectual property attorney Jake Mishkin's first person account of the month's leading up to his present predicament, holed up in his friend's lake house hiding from/waiting for Russian gangsters who may want to kill him. Flash back to England in 1642, we are reading a letter from a dying soldier, Richard Bracegirdle, to his wife and young son, recounting events in his life. Finally, we return to present day New York where we meet Albert Crosetti and Carolyn Rolly, rare bookstore employees who discover the letters of Richard Bracegirdle which may lead a literary treasure worth millions. The fact the Crosetti's mother is a very bright research librarian only enhances the story for me. Oh, and did I mention Shakespeare? He's in there, too. The story alternates between these three different points of view, finally coming together with many twists and turns along the way. I highly recommend The Book of Air and Shadows which is available here at the Norton High School Library.