NaPoWriMo – Day 7

Spine Poetry (“written” at the public library)Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.29.51 PM.png


Poetry Month – Day 16

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Acrostic)

Wallowing in the pain of

Awkward adolescence,

Learning to

Love others and to become

Free enough to

Love yourself,

Outcast, and casting out the

Wailing of an

Earlier you –

Redeemable with truth.

Typical Teen Topics

Middle School:  The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

Grades 4 through 9

Rafe begins sixth-grade and starts setting goals immediately.  His first goal is to avoid Miller, the school’s biggest bully.  His second goal is to get Jeanne Galletta’s attention, as she is pretty and cool.  His third goal, based on the other two, is to break every rule in the Hills Village Middle school Code of Conduct – yep, that’s right, break EVERY rule.

The book is filled with illustrations that add to the story, as Rafe deals with teachers, students, his family, and himself.

My Rating: 3 Stars



The Earth, My Butt & Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Ages 13 to 19

Virginia always played in the shadows of beautiful, successful, and thin siblings.  The brother she had always looked up to gets in trouble for something abominable, and Virginia has to start re-evaluating some things:  her family, her self-perceptions, her life rules, her social life.  After taking a few risks, things start to change…

My Rating: 4 Stars



Two Tough Topics

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Ages 15 and up

Logan, is a regular high school guy who is working on getting over a girl who he dated for three years.  One day, Sage, a new girl, shows up in biology class.  Logan is instantly taken by her, and it seems the she likes him back.  He gets mixed messages from Sage.  Sometimes she seems really attracted to Logan, and other times she says that she is not allowed to date.  She says that she was home-schooled for a few years.  Logan is respectful of all of that, but he wonders why Sage’s younger sister was not home-schooled and is allowed to date.  As he discovers Sage’s secret, Logan is forced to decide how much he cares about Sage, and how much he cares about what others think.

I was expecting a “girl book” because of the cover, but I found a rich, story with a dynamic male protagonist.  Once I got into the story, I could not put the book down.

My Rating:  5 Stars!

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

Grades 7 and up

Reese is in a juvenile detention center, serving time for stealing prescription pads.  Regardless of his best efforts to keep his nose clean, Reese gets in several fights, and keeps losing privileges while he is locked up.  Fortunately, he participates in a work program, so he gets to work at a home for Senior Citizens.  Reese is assigned to work with the difficult, angry Mr. Hooft.  At first, Reese finds Mr. Reese as intolerable as everybody else does.  As he continues to work with him, however, they learn a bit from each other.

My Rating: 5 Stars

A Few More

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian             by Sherman Alexie

Grades 7-12

Junior (Arnold) has an opportunity to leave his reservation to attend a better school.  While he does so, he faces the challenges of being a minority, anger from old friends who feel abandoned, and family issues.  With a mix of humor, and excellent artwork (by Ellen Fornay), Junior deals with issues common to any teen coming-of-age, and issues significant to Native Americans on a reservation.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Grades 5 to 8

In this historical fiction piece, set in the 1930s, Bud moves through some foster homes, not asking for trouble, yet finding it.  Finally, he decides to “go on the lam” (run away) to find his dad.  Believing that his dad is Herman E. Calloway, Bud travels from Flint, MI to Grand Rapids to find Calloway and his band.  All Bud has are some “Rules and Things to Have  a Funner Life”,  a suitcase with some belongings, and his name, Bud, not Buddy.

My Rating:  4 Stars

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

Grade 9-12+

Holly (14) and Giselle (22) take turns telling the story chapter by chapter.  Giselle is struggling with a co-dependent relationship with her boyfriend Sol, anorexia, and being a grown-up.  Holly is trying to be a teenager, while holding up her emotionally broken sister, and emotionally absent mother.  Both girls grieve the loss of their father, and cling to each other to get through life.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Grades 8 through 12+

Eric and Sarah have a friendship that goes back for years, and was originally based on being two misfits.  Eric was obese and Sarah’s face is scarred from a burn that happened when she was 3.  When Eric joins the swim team, he loses weight, and his social life changes.  At first, because he cares about Sarah, Eric tried to keep the weight on, to prove that he wouldn’t bail  on her.  Sarah’s circumstances become so severe that Eric goes out of his way to show Sarah that he cares for her regardless of his weight.  Eric would do anything to keep Sarah safe, even if it means risking his own life.

My Rating:  5 Stars