Crank and Glass have always been more than just stories. Join their author Ellen Hopkins and a host of other writers as they delve deep into Kristina's story, from the straight truth on the physical effects of methamphetamine addiction to the psychological consequences of keeping secrets (and how Hopkins' books have encouraged so many teens to reveal theirs).
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Starred Review. Chaltas's novel of poems marks an intensely powerful debut. Anke and her older siblings, Darren and Yaicha, may appear typical teenagers in public, but their home life is dominated by their father. Though he is verbally, physically and sexually abusive to her brother and sister, Anke seems beyond his notice (with a sick/ acidic/ burbling/ bile/ i want what they have/ as horrible/ curdling/ vile/ as it is/ darren and yaicha/ get more/ than/ me). The distance between the family members—separated by their silence—is palpable, as is Anke's growing sense of strength, partly due to her participation in volleyball at school (My lungs are claiming expanding territory./ This is my voice./ This is MY BALL). Though the pace is quick, tension builds slowly, almost agonizingly, as acts of abuse collect (a large bruise glimpsed on Darren's torso, muffled sounds from Yaicha's room that can't be tuned out). Readers will recognize the inevitability of an explosive confrontation, but the particulars will still shock. Incendiary, devastating, yet—in total—offering empowerment and hope, Chaltas's poems leave an indelible mark.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Burningham's humorous text and personal approach will make readers feel like an older sister or cousin is chatting with them. The author uses celebrity quotes alongside quotes from real teens culled from the MySpace polling research she conducted for this book. From basics to boy friend vs. boyfriend to first dates and breakups, the text covers all points in between. Burningham's focus is on giving girls confidence to navigate the dating experience successfully. The chapter entitled "You Wear the Pants: Setting Your Boundaries," which deals with the physical side of dating relationships, is particularly good. The author doesn't belabor the point or make suggestions for what that boundary might be but rather empowers readers throughout to make decisions for themselves. The open layout and Smith's line drawings are also standouts. Well-written and smart, Boyology is a strong addition to books about relationships. - School Library Journal Review