Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GHOST by Jason Reynolds

Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw has grown up feeling the need to be tough. He will never forget the day his father threatened to shoot him and his mother. Hiding in the storeroom at the back of Mr. Charles's store will stay with Ghost forever.

In trouble and kicked out of school more than he's in, Ghost doesn't like the thought of worrying his mother, but he just can't help himself. That's just how things are until the day he crashes track practice and shows off his natural ability to run by beating one of the team's best sprinters. Coach takes him aside and suggests he should tryout.

Running gives Ghost a purpose, but it doesn't guarantee he'll start following the straight and narrow. In an effort to fit in with the rest of his teammates, Ghost finds himself lying to Coach, the other newbies on the team, and even his mom. It takes a run-in with Coach and the threat of losing his spot on the team to turn things around for Ghost.

GHOST is the first book in a new series by author Jason Reynolds. Reynolds is well-known for WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST, THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT, and ALL AMERICAN BOYS. The new Track series will feature Ghost and his fellow runners who all might have a shot at the Junior Olympics.

Friday, September 23, 2016


The Memory of Things

The first plane hit the World Trade Center, and many thought it was an accident. Then the second plane hit the second tower, and the world knew it was an attack.

At Stuyvesant High School a relatively short distance from Ground Zero, Kyle Donohue and his classmates watch the first tower fall. The school is evacuated, and Kyle heads home to Brooklyn. As he leaves the smoke and dust behind, he stumbles across a girl covered in ash and dust and wearing a pair of costume wings. He decides to take her home.

Once home safe and sound, Kyle checks on his wheelchair bound uncle. After a number of attempts, phone calls confirm that his mother and sister will be stuck in California until planes are permitted to fly again, and his detective father is hard at work in the rescue effort at the attack site.

The girl seems to be suffering from amnesia and barely speaks. Kyle patiently tries to help her recall important details, and as the hours and days pass he begins to fall under her spell. Kyle bravely meets the challenges of caring for his invalid uncle, watching over the girl, and keeping tabs on the rest of his family from a distance. The impact of the events of September 11 unfold around him, erasing layer after layer of his youthful innocence.

Author Gae Polisner honors the anniversary of 9/11 with her new novel THE MEMORY OF THINGS not only with a stark reminder of what happened that tragic morning, but also with an emotional and inspirational story of a teen who responded courageously and responsibly in the face of frightening circumstances. The voices of Kyle and the girl tell two very different stories about the strength of love and determination.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

100 DAYS by Nicole McInnes

100 Days

100 DAYS is the story of the last 100 days in the life of sixteen year old Agnes. Agnes is one of a tiny fraction of humanity diagnosed with progeria, a disease that causes a rapid increase in the aging process. Although only sixteen, Agnes has the body of an elderly person and suffers from all the complications of aging.

Agnes, Moira, and Boone were friends in elementary until an unfortunate accident that left Agnes with a broken bone. Now they are in high school and fate arranges for them to join forces once again.

Moira dresses in black and wears dark makeup in an effort to diminish her weight issues. She has appointed herself Agnes's protector and would give her life to protect her friend.

Boone spends all his free time working multiple odd jobs to try to make ends meet for his widowed mother. While he is working, she hides a home assembling jigsaw puzzles as she tries to cope with her husband's tragic death.

Although things don't always go as planned, the three friends provide emotional support for one another as they negotiate the difficulties of their lives. Despite the odds stacked against them, they remain positive and determined to experience as much as possible.

Author Nicole McInnes takes readers into the lives of her unique characters and the experience is sure to have a memorable impact.