Vacation Over, Back to Work

I took my vacation from school seriously and have not posted here in a week. However, I have been reading. Let me share some good reads with you.

I started Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson before she visited us at Taylor. Unfortunately, I did not finish it until a few days after she left. I have read several of her other books, but I thought that it was very important for me to read this one because I had not read one of her historical fiction stories before. She was on the book tour to push the sequel to Chains called Forge, but I have not read that one yet. Laurie's story about slaves during the period of the American Revolution reminds me of Octavia Nothing by M. T. Anderson (no relation to Laurie). We don't usually think about slaves living in the colonies of New England, but they did. Both the Chains series and Octavia Nothing series offer a glimpse into that life.

I had read some good reviews of Bruiser, and I am a fan of Neal Shusterman so I was excited to read this one. It starts off with lots of wit and humor. Two of the main characters are named Tennyson and Bronte because their parents are both English teachers. As you begin to learn more about the character of their friend Bruiser, you realize this is not a humorous story nor is it strictly realistic fiction. The author uses magical realism to give Bruiser abilities to make life sweet for those around him, but turn his life into a hell. I don't want to give too much away, but this is a recommended high school read.

Front and Center by Catherine Murdock is the third book in a series that began with Dairy Queen. It tells the story of D. J. Schwenk who lives on a dairy farm in Red Bend, Wisconsin. She is an avid sports participant and fan. Her parents hope that her ticket out of Red Bend will be a full basketball scholarship to a Big Ten university. It is told from the first person, and I like the book because I liked D. J's voice. She is unsure of herself and her place in the world. You don't have to be a sports fan to like this book. I do suggest that you read the first two books before tackling this one. You will miss many of the references to her brothers and boyfriend if you don't read the books in order.


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