Soar by Joan Bauer

 

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

 

“The problem with having a story like this is people don’t know what to do with it. Their faces get super sad and their shoulders slump as they pat me on the head, which I find irritating and say. ‘My, you are a little survivor, aren’t you?’

Bauer, Joan. Soar.  Viking, 2016. 296 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47034-8

There are a few things that you need to know about Jeremy Lopper. First, he is probably 12 years old. The other things you should know about him are that he was left at a water cooler in an office building with a note and a stuffed eagle when he was a baby. He was found by a single man named Walt, a computer genius, who later adopted him. The other thing you need to know is that Jeremy has had a heart transplant, and his new heart, that he has affectionately named Alice, is not working as great as everyone would have hoped.  Lastly, Walt and Jeremy love baseball!

Walt and Jeremy move to a small town where Walt has a consulting job. This town is all about baseball and Walt and Jeremy can’t wait to get there. When they arrive however, all is not as they had planned. There is an unexplained death and some unexpected secrets that surface which are tearing the town apart.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about Jeremy though- he has THE BEST ATTITUDE about life and baseball. Will it be enough to help this town? Read this book to find out what happens to the town, baseball, Jeremy and Walt.

I love, love, loved every page of this book!

Want to watch a book trailer for Soar?

Link to Amazon.com (available in Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle versions, and Audible)

Link to Worldcat.org

 Joan Bauer

HRS Joan Bauer

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 Website 
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Almost Home by Joan Bauer

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“I sighed. Sugar isn’t the easiest name to be slapped with, I’ll tell you. I was supposed to get named Susannah. I was supposed to be born in a hospital, too, but my whole life started as one big surprise when I got born in the back of a Chevy in the parking lot of the Sugar Shack in Baton Rouge in a rainstorm so bad, my parents couldn’t make it to the hospital. When I popped out and Reba saw the Sugar Shack sign, she felt it was a sign from God; right then I got my name. At least God told her to stop at Sugar. Sugar Shack Cole would have been a chore to live with. As for Mr. Leeland, he got the thrill of helping me be born, and believe me, he hasn’t done squat to help since.”

Bauer, Joan. Almost Home.  Viking, 2012. 264 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-670-01289-3

Sugar Cole calls her parents Reba and Mr. Leeland. Mr. Leeland has a gambling problem and is gone way more than he’s around. He also spends more of Sugar and her mom’s money than he contributes. Sugar Cole is a character – she is always writing – and she never forgets all the advice her grandpa gave her over the years before his death. She is strong and doesn’t let the bullying at school get her down. She befriends her English teacher, Mr. Bennett, who encourages her to keep writing and is always lifting her up (don’t we all need someone like that?). Reba and Sugar get evicted from their home and find themselves in a new town and homeless. This is the breaking point for Reba and she ends up in the hospital. Sugar ends up in a foster home and learns what it’s like to live in a stable environment. She loves her new home but she loves her mom. You’ll have to read for yourself to see what happens. I think you’ll like it. This story is full of letters and e-mails written by Sugar, Mr. B, and her mom. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. Give it a try.

 

Want to watch an interview with Joan Bauer? Here it is:

 “Almost. It’s a big word for me. I feel it everywhere. Almost home. Almost happy. Almost changed. Almost, but not quite. Not yet. Soon, maybe.” 
― Joan BauerAlmost Home

Courtesy of Penguin Books

 

 

 

 

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Mia and Adam have not seen each other for three years, not since the tragic accident that killed Mia’s family. Now, Mia is graduating from Juilliard and starting to tour as a world famous cellist. Adam and his band are topping the charts. And then… a chance meeting brings the two together one night after Mia’s concert in New York.

Forman, Gayle. Where She Went. Speak, 2011. 264 pages. Paperback. $10.99, ISBN 978-0-14-242089-8

I didn’t read If I Stay by Gayle Forman but I did see the movie. I loved the movie but when it ended, I went “Really? Is that all I get? What happened next?” Where She Went answered all my questions.

I won’t give away the book – no spoilers here – but I will tell you that Mia and Adam spend the next three years apart. Where She Went fills in the blanks and ends with a chance meeting between Mia and Adam. They spend the evening together visiting Mia’s favorite New York haunts and talking. When the morning comes and it’s time for Adam to fly to London, does he? Were these two meant to be together? Does Adam have to let Mia go as he promised her when she was in a coma and he begged her to stay? Can their two separate careers co-exist if they stay together? Read for yourself to find out. You won’t be disappointed.

Book Trailer:

Courtesy of YouTube.com

Available in:

Hardcover

Kindle Edition

Paperback

Audiobook

Awards:

• An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

• An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

• A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book

• A Kirkus Reviews Best YA Book

• A Virginia Readers’ Choice Award Master List Selection

• A Texas Tayshas High School Reading List Selection

• A New York Times Bestseller 

Courtesy of gayleforman.com

Courtesy of gayleforman.com

Gayle Forman’s website

 Twitter Account

Facebook Account

 

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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Hurricane Katrina is coming and Lanesha has to get herself and Mama Ya-Ya ready for the storm and for what follows.

Rhodes, Jewell Parker. Ninth Ward. Scholastic, 2010. 217 pages. Paperback. $4.99, ISBN 978-0-545-48955-3

 

Ninth Ward is a section of New Orleans, eight miles from Uptown. Lanesha’s family lives in Uptown but Lanesha never sees them. Lanesha’s mother died giving birth to her. Lanesha is twelve, loves school, thinks she might be an engineer when she grows up, and can see ghosts.

“Mama Ya-Ya says my family is scared of me. ‘Everybody in Louisiana knows there be spirits walking this earth. All kinds of ghosts you can’t see, not unless you want to. But you, child, you see them. You’ve got the sight. It’s grace to see both worlds,’ she says as we wash our birthday dishes, sticky with bits of jambalaya.

     ‘Better you be an orphan, your family thinks. Better crazy Mama Ya-Ya raises you,’ she says, sucking air through her false teeth. ‘Fine. I’m old school. Don’t care nothin’ about folks who dishonor traditions as old as Africa. I’ll be your mother and grandmother both.’”

Mama Ya-Ya is 82 years old. She can see things too. She teaches Lanesha to always look for the signs and she teaches her what the signs mean.

There is a storm coming. Mama Ya-Ya can see it but there’s something else coming too. Everyone has been told to evacuate or go to the Super Dome. Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya don’t have a car or money so they have to stay put. Lanesha has to prepare for the storm and look after Mama Ya-Ya. What will happen? What is coming in addition to the storm? What about the neighbors and neighborhood in the Ninth Ward?

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Courtesy of YouTube.com

Available in:

Hardcover

Paperback

Kindle Edition

eAudiobook

English: Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA, 9-16-05 ...

English: Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA, 9-16-05 — This neighborhood remains flooded two weeks after the storm came through. The foul smelling flood water is contaminated with petrol chemicals, house hold chemicals and biological hazards. MARVIN NAUMAN/FEMA photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Awards: 

2010 Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award

2010 Parents Choice Foundation Gold Award

2010 Al Roker “Today Show” Book Club Selection

Best Fiction of 2010, School Library Journal

2011 Jane Addams Honor Book Award for Older Children (Jane Addams Peace Association)

2011 Honor Books. Judy Lopez Memorial Awards of Excellence in Children’s Literature

2011 International Reading Association Notable Books for a Global Society

2011-2012 The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, Master List

Finalist, Best Fiction for Middle Grade Readers, Goodreads.com

Courtesy of Facebook.com

Courtesy of Facebook.com

Jewell Parker Rhodes Website

Twitter Account
Facebook Account

Skinny by Donna Cooner

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Ever has been gaining wait since her mother passed away and now weighs 302 pounds. Skinny is the voice in her head that tries to hold her back but Ever is determined to lose the weight, get the man of her dreams, and sing the lead in the school play.

Cooner, Donna. Skinny. Point, 2012. 260 pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-545-42763-0

Ever is fifteen years old. Ever has a beautiful singing voice that no one ever gets to hear. Ever weighs 302 pounds. Ever has been gaining weight since her mother died. Skinny is the voice in her head that always tells her horrible things about herself, that tells her what horrible things others are thinking of her, that tells her she can’t do the things she wishes she could, that tells her she will never be loved.

The turning point for Ever is when her chair collapses on stage in front of the whole school while waiting to receive an award. After this, she decides to have gastric by-pass surgery. If she loses the weight, she can sing in the school play and she can have the love of her life, Jackson.

Follow Ever through the surgery and the year following as she learns some very important things about herself and her friends. Will she get the man of her dreams? Will she sing the lead in Cinderella? What about her best friend Rat? And what happens to Skinny?

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

 

Available in:

Hardcover

Kindle Edition

Audiobook

Award:

YALSA 2013 Quick Pick Nominee

Book Trailer:

Book Trailer Courtesy of YouTube.com

Donna Cooner Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

Donna Cooner’s Website  

 Twitter Acount

 Facebook Account

Cover courtesy of Amazon.com

Zoe and Simon have something in common – they are both lonely. Zoe because her mother is dying of cancer and her father is always gone and Simon because he is a 300 year old vampire with no family. Simon is trying to avenge his mother’s death and stop the murders that have been happening in town while Zoe has to decide if she can trust Simon enough to help him.

Klause, Annette Curtis. The Silver Kiss. Delacorte Press, 1990. 238 pages. paperback. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-375-85782-9

Zoe’s mother is dying of cancer. Zoe’s father has checked out, he spends all his time with Zoe’s mom at the hospital and refuses to talk honestly to Zoe about the situation. Zoe’s best friend, Lorraine, is moving away. Can things get any worse? Enter Simon, a beautiful intriguing teenage boy, who just happens to be a 300 year-old vampire. Simon is just as lonely as Zoe and spends his days trying to avenge the death of his mother.  What will happen? Can Zoe trust Simon? Will Zoe be able to help him? And what is a Silver Kiss?

Link to Amazon.com

Link to World Cat.org

Available in:

Hardcover

Paperback

Mass Market Paperback

Kindle Edition

eBook

Playaway Digital Audio

Awards

  • A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, 1990
  • A YALSA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, 1990
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1990
  • Booklist Best Book and Editor’s Choice, 1990
  • Michigan Library Association Young Adults Division Best Book of the Year Honor Book, 1990
  • Michigan Thumbs Up! Award Honor Book, 1991
  • 1991 Locus Poll Award – Best First Novel
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominee, 1992
  • Maryland Library Association Black-Eyed Susan Award, 1992-93
  • California Young Reader’s Medal, 1993
  • Oklahoma Library Association Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award, 1993
  • South Carolina Library Association Young Adult Award, 1993
  • Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee, 1993
  • One of the 100 Best of the Best Books for Young Adults–1967-1992, 1994
  • A YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults, 1999
  • One of the 100 Best of the Best Books for Young Adults–1967-1992, 2000
  • A YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults, 2009

Watch a book trailer :

Courtesy of YouTube.com

Interview with Annette Curtis Klause

Author Information Page

© Chris Peeler 2013