Book 'n Tea Break

{December 9, 2011}   The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

MLA Citation: Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. Print.

Awards/Honors: #1 New York Times Bestseller
Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2008: Children’s FictionThe Hunger Games Bookcover
New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2008
ALA Top ten Best Books for Young Adults Selection
Indies Choice – Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book Honor
Cybil Award – Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008)
Children’s Choice Book Award (2009)
YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (2009)
Kirkus Best Book of 2008

Annotation: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are competing against teens from the other Panem districts in the Hunger Games, an event televised to all the districts. These are no ordinary games, though – the contestants must fight to the death.

Booktalk: Every year Panem holds The Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death televised competition that The Capitol uses to remind the Districts of the power they have over them and commemorate the ending of the Dark Days. Twelve through eighteen-year-olds have their names entered every year into the drawing – and they can enter their name more times every year to get rations for their family. Katniss has twenty entries at the age of sixteen. Gale, her hunting partner and friend, has fourty-two names at age eighteen. The odds are not in their favor. When Katniss ends up a Hunger Games tribute, she must fight for her life.

Straight from the Teens: Kaleb (14) says “The Hunger Games really got me to start reading. I just couldn’t imagine being in the tributes position. Or the government forcing their people to do this!!”

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)


{December 9, 2011}   Brave New World

Title: Brave New World

Author: Aldous HuxleyBrave New World bookcover

MLA Citation: Huxley, Aldous. Brave new world,. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.

Awards/Honors: American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit (1959)
Modern Library’s 100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th Century

Annotation: Taking place in 2540 AD, Brave New World depicts a world where individuals are bred to fulfill specific roles in society and are conditioned to never challenge their roles or long for the roles of others. Some, however, see the downfall of this world.

Booktalk: What would you do if you knew people behave a certain way because they had been bred, conditioned, and drugged to be? Bernard, a psychologist, knows the truth – the ingrained beliefs of the society come simply from repeating phrases to children while they have been asleep. Challenging those beliefs, however, have resulted in threats of reassignment to desolate locations. When an 18-year-old man is brought to the World State, a man raised amongst the savages, the World State will be challenged. How would you react if you saw this Brave New World?

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

{December 9, 2011}   Ship Breaker

Title: Ship Breaker

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Illustrator: Nathan Hale

MLA Citation: Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship breaker. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. Print.

Awards/Honors:National Book Award for Young People’s Literature  Nominee (2010)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Nominee (2011)
Michael L. Printz Award for Best Young Adult Novel  (2011)

Annotation: Nailer works breaking down old ships, pulling copper with his crew as they struggle to meet quota and stay small enough to keep their jobs. After a city killer comes through, however, Nailer makes a discovery that could end his days hauling copper.

Booktalk: Nailer works for Bapi’s light crew, scavenging metal from the inside of ships. After a city killer blows in, Nailer and his friend and crew boss, Pima, make a discovery that would allow them to quit light crew for good – a swank’s clipper ship that crashed ashore. There is another surprise waiting for them within the clipper, however, complicating things beyond gathering their scavenge before others move in.

Straight from the Teen: Danny (17) says, “I liked this book a lot because the dystopian society is believable and it takes place in the U.S.”

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsSisterhood of the Traveling Pants Bookcover

Author: Ann Brashares

MLA Citation: Brashares, Ann. The sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001. Print.

Awards/Honors: ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2002)
Indiana Young Hoosier Award (2004)
Iowa Teen Book Award (2004)
Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award (2002)
New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award (2004)
Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (2003)
Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award (2003)
Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2003)
Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award (2004)
Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award (2004)
Missouri Gateway Readers Award (2004)
Arizona Young Readers Award (2005)
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (2004)
Book Sense Book of the Year (2002)
Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2002)
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (2004)

Annotation: Four teenage girls set out for a summer apart – Tibby is staying home, Lena is going to Greece, Carmen is going to South Carolina, and Bridget is going to Baja, California. They will stay connected and support one another through a pair of jeans that fits each one, different as they are, just right.

Booktalk: What would you do without your best friends? This is the question Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget are asking themselves as they prepare for a summer apart. Before they all head off and leave Tibby behind, however, they discover something amazing – an ordinary pair of thrift-store jeans somehow fits all of them  – despite their different body types – perfectly. They agree the pants must be magic and to send them to one another over the course of the summer. The pants will keep them together, witness their adventures, and offer support as they make their way across the US – and Europe – for their summer apart. How much will they see, learn, and grow over the course of the summer?

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

{November 6, 2011}   Upstate

Title: UpstateUpstate Bookcover

Author: Kalisha Buckhanon

MLA Citation: Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. Print.

Awards/Honors: ALA ALEX Award (2006)

Annotation: Antonio is doing time for murdering his father. While in prison, he and his girlfriend, Natasha, exchange letters.

Booktalk: When Antonio goes to jail and is charged with murdering his father, Natasha swears she will wait for him. When the trial starts to head south, Antonio’s lawyer suggests entering a plea, which saves Antonio from possibly life in prison, but now there is no chance for appeal, no chance of getting out back to his life in Harlem, his life with Natasha. Time on the outside doesn’t stand still, though. Will Natasha still be there when Antonio has finished his time Upstate?

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

{October 30, 2011}   The Giver

Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

MLA Citation: Lowry, Lois. The giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Print.

Awards/Honors: ALA’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000The Giver bookcover
ALA’s Best Book for Young Adults
Newbery Medal (1994)
School Library Journal “Best Book of the Year”
William Allen White Award (1996)

Annotation: In Jonas’ world, you do not decide what you want to be when you grow up – it is decided for you. When Jonas is given the job as the Receiver of Memories, he learns from The Giver the secrets of the community he believed was perfect.

Booktalk: What happens when you realize the world isn’t perfect? For Jonas, this idea has never crossed his mind. Yet when he is assigned the job of Receiver of Memories, The Giver opens Jonas’ eyes to the sacrifices the community makes to live in a perfect world. What would you do when you learned the price of perfect?

Straight from the Teens: Glen (17), says “This is one of the best dystopian novel I’ve read. I recommend it every chance I get!”

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

{October 30, 2011}   Streams of Babel

Title: Streams of BabelStreams of Bable Bookcover

Author: Carol Plum-Ucci

MLA Citation: Plum-Ucci, Carol. Streams of Babel. New York: Harcourt, 2008. Print.

Awards/Honors: Margaret A. Edwards Award

Annotation: When two women in Trinity Falls, a small southern New Jersey town, die within two days of each other from a brain aneurysm after suffering  from flu-like symptoms for weeks, the question of coincidence arises. A teen in Pakistan acts as a virtual spy, capturing script about poisoning water supplies moves to New York in order to better capture the chatter. As more people in Trinity Falls become ill, can the simple sipping of tap water be killing them?

Booktalk: When a morphine addict dies from the flu, it is chalked up to a weaken immune system. When a lawyer dies from the flu as well within a day of the addict, people begin to question the coincidences. Autopsies turn up more coincidences, naming the cause of death as “Brain Aneurysm”.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Shahzad, a 16-year-old virtual spy works to learn more about the ominous message he found  – “Waters will run red in Colony One…Waters will run red three hours from Home Base in December…They will drink in December and die like mangy dogs in April”.  As the chatter increases and more people become sick, can Shahzad help the USIC find Colony One through Streams of Babel?

(Images Courtesy of GoodReads)

{October 23, 2011}   Annie on My Mind

Title: Annie on My Mind

Author: Nancy GardenAnnie On my Mind bookcover

MLA Citation: Garden, Nancy. Annie on My Mind. New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1982. Print.

Awards/Honors: Margaret A. Edwards Award

Annotation: Liza and Annie meet at the Metropolitan one rainy November day. They quickly become friends, spending every moment as they can together the week of Thanksgiving. When their quick-forming friendship develops into more, both must sort out their feelings and their relationship.

Booktalk: Have you ever questioned something that is the status quo? Annie and Liza meet at the Metropolitain Museum of Art and form a friendship that makes Liza question where her thoughts are coming from. When Liza and Annie unexpectedly begin kissing one another on the beach, their relationships moves into a new dimension. Over spring break, though, something happens that brings an end to their relationship. Now away at college at MIT, Liza can’t get Annie off her mind. How would you come to terms with your feelings going against the status quo?

(Image Courtasy of GoodReads)

{October 23, 2011}   The Chocolate War

Title: The Chocolate Warcover image of the chocolate war

Author: Robert Cormier

MLA Citation: Cormier, Robert. The chocolate War. New York, New York: Dell Pub. Co., 1974. Print.

Awards/Honors:  ALA Best Books for Young Adults
School Library Journal Best of the Best 1966–1978
New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year
Lewis Carroll Award
Margaret A Edwards Award

Annotation: Jerry Renault, a freshman at Trinity School, an all-boys high school, refuses to partake in the annual chocolate fundraiser. Challenging school tradition and authority is one thing, but challenging The Vigils, the school’s secret society, is another.

Booktalk:  Have you ever questioned tradition? Every year Trinity School has a chocolate fundraiser, where the boys sell their quotas of chocolate without challenge. Yet this year, Father Leon doubled the quota and doubled the price, still expecting the boys to sell their quotas – 50 boxes – without question.

Jerry Renault, a freshman, quarterback for the freshman football team, does the unthinkable when asked to accept his quota. While everyone is saying “Yes”, Jerry says “No”. What starts out as an Assignment from The Vigils, the school’s secret organization, turns into a personal choice, begins a new phase of The Chocolate War.

(Image Courtesy of GoodReads)

{October 2, 2011}   Review: Forever

Title: Forever

Author: Judy Blume

Forever bookcover

MLA Citation:Blume, Judy. Forever. Scarsdale: Bradbury Press, 1975. Print.

Awards/Honors:  1996 ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award

Annotation: The story of a high-school couple’s journey through the world of love, sex, and the realization that sharing sexual experiences does not mean “forever”.

Review:  Forever deals with the first love relationship that so many young adults encounter. Blume does an excellent job at accurately representing what a teen’s first serious relationship often consists of – the love bordering on obsession, the sexual relationships and concerns that go along with it, and the thought that this first relationship could mean “forever”. Blume also does a wonderful job at illustrating the awkwardness of one’s first sexual encounter. While this has led to Forever being banned and challenged so much that it made ALA’s Top 100 Most Frequently Banned Books list, it is important for teens to understand that their first time will most likely not be as romantic and magical as so many other sources have told them it would be. Blume also addresses the issue that with sexual relationships come responsibilities and the potential for serious and life-altering consequences.

(Image courtesy of GoodReads)

et cetera