Thursday, August 31, 2017

SOLO by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess

Solo (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Author Kwame Alexander has captured the hearts of readers with his books CROSSOVER and BOOKED. Now he has partnered with Mary Rand Hess to create another story that is sure to increase his fan base.

SOLO is the story of Blade Morrison. He is the son of rock and roll sensation Rutherford Morrison. Blade lives a life of privilege in Hollywood. His world revolves around music and a girl named Chapel. Despite outward appearances, Blade is struggling.

Although his father's music has provided the best of everything for his family, tragedy has struck. Blade's mother, Sunny, died years ago, and his father never truly recovered. In between concerts and tours, the famous musician has dealt with multiple stints in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. Blade's world begins to crumble when Chapel's parents forbid contact with Blade because of his father's destructive behavior.

To further complicate Blade's chaotic life, he learns that he was adopted as an infant. Angry because his parents kept this a secret, he vows to find his biological mother. His search takes him to Ghana and the most unlikely of adventures.

Alexander and Hess use verse to paint a stunning picture of Blade's struggle to understand his true self and how he fits into the world. Despite his life of wealth and privilege, his story is not always pleasant and the those around him are not always helpful. His determination and resilience make for an inspirational read.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

PRISONER OF WAR: A Novel of World War II by Michael Spradlin

                                                        Prisoner of War: A Novel of World War II
Henry "Tree" Forrest is fifteen years old. In order to avoid another beating from his vicious father, he decides to enlist in the Marines. He barely makes it through boot camp and finds himself fighting beside grown men in the Philippines.

Henry's height earns him the nickname Tree, and his courage and bravery earn him the respect of the men in his unit. When the tide of the war turns after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tree experiences the true evils of war. The Japanese constant air and ground attacks force the allied soldiers to retreat and surrender.

Tree and his fellow soldiers become prisoners of war. The conditions are horrendous. The defeated and exhausted men are marched from the shores of the South China Sea into the interior of the island. Denied food and water and medical treatment, many men don't survive.

Once at Camp O'Donnell, Tree suffers beatings he could never have imagined from his father. With the constant encouragement of a veteran soldier named Gunny, Tree digs deep to find the strength to withstand the beatings and the miserable conditions for years.

Author Michael Spradlin has explored the world of war in his previous novel THE EMENY ABOVE. This new release takes readers into the mind of a young boy as he experiences unbelievable horrors. Written in a voice and pace that will definitely hold the attention of even the most reluctant of readers, PRISONER OF WAR is perfect for a library or classroom collection.


                                                        The Pants Project
Liv is excited to start middle school except for one thing. Liv's school is the only one in the area that requires girls to wear skirts. Wearing a skirt might not be so awful if Liv thought of himself as a girl, but he doesn't.

Not even Liv's two moms know Liv's secret. Born a girl, Liv doesn't feel that is the right sexual definition. He believes he was meant to be a boy. That's a pretty big secret that is difficult to express. The fact that Liv will have to wear a skirt every single day once school starts might just be a big enough deal to get him to share his secret with someone.

Author Cat Clarke dives into the subject of transgender identification in her new book THE PANTS PROJECT. With the help of a new friend, Liv decides to protest the school's new rule. As the fight for his right to wear pants unfolds, Liv deals with bullies, disgruntled administrators, and people who don't readily accept that it's amazing to have two moms.

Aimed at a middle grade audience, THE PANTS PROJECT is an excellent addition to a library or classroom collection for teens of any age.