Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I Kill the MockingbirdThree friends attempt to honor their deceased teacher by encouraging people to read the famous classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  Unhappy that their new English teacher is assigning a huge list for summer reading, Lucy, Elena, and Michael can think only about Fat Bob and his promise to make their only summer reading requirement TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  The book is already a favorite of Lucy's, and together they vow to make others aware of this excellent book.

They decide to use the economic concept of supply and demand to get people interested in the book.  If it appears that the book is difficult to buy in bookstores or borrow from libraries, it could increase demand.  The idea is not to take or steal the books, but rather to put them where they are least likely to be found.  Visiting bookstores and libraries they creatively re-shelve Harper Lee's classic so customers looking for copies believe they are not available.

Using Facebook, Twitter, and other online forums, they begin a campaign using reverse psychology, telling people that the book is not worth reading.  They also spread around flyers and posters with their original logo and the phrase "I kill the mockingbird."  News travels quickly and their plan takes off.

Even though Lucy's father suspects their involvement in this crazy scheme, the three friends keep their lips sealed and work carefully to stay above the law.  There are some amazing results and a wide variety of reactions that leave the kids wondering if their decision was the right one.

Author Paul Acampora has created an extremely unique story and tribute to a favorite novel of many readers.  Scattered throughout the book he also name drops the titles of many other classic favorites as readers follow the adventures of three very creative book lovers.  I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD is a must read.

Monday, May 26, 2014


The ProgramTHE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young describes an epidemic like none other.  Teenage suicides have exploded across the world. 

Sloane's own brother took his life leaving her and his best friend to pick up the pieces.  Sloane knows that showing any signs of depression will alert parents and teachers to the fact that she might have been exposed. 

In an attempt to control the epidemic, the government has developed the Program.  Those effected are essentially grabbed from home or school and sent away to undergo a brainwashing-type program that wipes their memories clean.  When they return home, they don't recognize their friends or their previous life.  They are like unemotional, automatons that now follow the rules and are "safe" from suicidal behaviors.

Since Sloane's brother's death, she and his best friend James have fallen in love.  When James begins to display symptoms, Sloane tries to shield him from the Program handlers, but he is taken away.  When he returns and doesn't recognize Sloane, she is devastated.  She knows she is next, but she vows to do whatever possible to escape the brainwashing that will remove all memories of the one she loves.

The Eleventh Plague
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by Jeff Hirsch was published a few years ago and stands as one of the earlier examples of dystopian YA fiction.  Fans of HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT might consider checking this one out for a good summer read.

Stephen and his father and grandfather are salvagers maintaining an existence by traveling cross-country gathering whatever they can find to use, sell, or trade.  The Eleventh Plague or P11 struck twenty years ago before Stephen was born.  It wiped out most of the population and destroyed the North American infrastructure leaving those left behind living like long ago pioneers. 

All Stephen knows of the past is what he hears from stories told by his father and grandfather.  He has never experienced things like school, television, cell phones, or computers.  After his mother died, all gentleness disappeared from his life.  It became survival no matter the cost.

When his domineering grandfather dies, Stephen and his father continue their way across country.  While sheltering in the wreckage of a crashed plane, they barely escape death at the hands of slavers.  With his father gravely injured, Stephen is attempting to deal with the crisis when a passing group offers to lend a hand.  Hesitant to trust strangers, Stephen reluctantly allows them to take him and his unconscious father to their settlement.  The group has managed to turn a former gated community into a functioning town complete with livestock, a working farm, and even a school.

Gradually, Stephen begins to trust the group, but the urge to keep on the move has him restless, and when his father dies, he questions whether staying is the right thing to do.  When a mini war breaks out with another nearby settlement, every one's survival may be in question.

Monday, May 5, 2014

SEX & VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian

Sex & ViolenceHeads up!  The title isn't kidding.  SEX & VIOLENCE is not for the faint of heart and should probably be limited to the 16 and up crowd.

When the story begins, Evan Carter is attending yet another school.  This time it's what he calls a cut-rate boarding school and education is definitely not a priority.  Evan's goal in life is sex, and he is willing to entertain any available girl.  He has never faced any consequences for his wild ways until he became involved with Collette.

When Evan starts skipping chapel services to make out with Collette, he ticks off the wrong people.  The result is a vicious attack in the dorm shower room.  Evan is left with a ruptured spleen, broken nose, broken ribs, torn, mutilated ears as well as an assortment cuts and bruises.  He is in a coma and barely remembers what happened when he regains consciousness.

After his discharge from the hospital, Evan's dad moves them to the family cabin on Pearl Lake in Minnesota. Hopefully, this will be the place Evan can recover and get past the violence that almost ended his life.  Too afraid to shower and reluctant to trust strangers, he starts therapy and tries to adjust to a slower pace of life.  Can he keep the embarrassing secret of his beating and find some friends or will he find himself in even more trouble because of those new friends?

SEX & VIOLENCE is the debut novel of author Carrie Mesrobian.  It's powerful message may bother some adults, but teens will no doubt find its raw, edginess attractive.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Grasshopper Jungle
Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride with GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE! 

This innovative YA novel starts out with two typical teen best friends, Austin and Robby.  These small town teens have one thing on their minds -- sex.  Austin can't believe he has been lucky enough to land a girl friend like Shann, but his love for his best friend Robby causes some confusion in terms of his sexuality.

When the two boys stumble across some odd scientific experiments in the locked office of the secondhand shop where Austin works, they are freaked out but fascinated.  If that's not creepy enough, they then discover an underground facility dating back to the 1970's that leads them to the creepiest find of all.  Austin and Robby end up releasing some mutant, giant bugs that have only two things on their bugged out minds -- food and sex. 

Author Andrew Smith combines the real and the fantastic in a way that will amaze and astonish both teen and adult readers.  GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE is crass, creepy, and creative and sure to captivate!