Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Throwdown Guest Post - Stacy

Stacy from Welcome to My Tweendom
This was the first time that I participated in the Summer Throwdown, and I have to say that it was super-fun and a real motivator to get reading!  My top 10 is made up of a variety of titles, some of which I have yet to blog over at Welcome to MyTweendom.  Without further ado, here are my top 10 in no particular order.

The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides.
            An adult title!  I KNOW! But each summer I choose a few from my list to try to read.  While this book didn’t blow me away like it did for many of my friends, I thought it was solid and a good look into the psyche of the university student.  I loved the multiple points of view and I feel like readers could see themselves in at least one of the characters.

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
            I was super excited to pick this up at ALA Annual.  Smile is one of our highest circing and most often disappearing graphic novel at school, and students are CONSTANTLY asking for more from Raina.  Drama is a pitch perfect look at middle school, crushes, family, identity and friendship.  It also has the theater geek thing down, and with the success of GLEE, I am sure that this gn will have a wide range of readers in both gender and age.

Friends with Boys, by Faith Erin Hicks
            Two of my colleagues had read this before school was out and it was sitting on my shelf but I was just too crazed with the end of school and upcoming ALA.  I finally sat down to read this one and just loved it.  A family story with the right hint of paranormal, Hicks gets the tension of entering high school with its unwritten rules just right.

In A Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz
            I got a chance to pick up this arc at ALA and have Adam sign it.  He wrote something along the lines of “Hang on, this one’s even worse!”.  There is more of what was in the first…lots of blood and vomit in this no holds barred dip into fairy tales.  What I love and wonder at with Gidwitz is his ability to weave the stories together seamlessly without having readers see where the ties are.  Fun, gross and exciting.

Prairie Evers, by Ellen Airgood
            If any of you are readers of my blog, you know that I love countrified stories with quirky characters.  But I don’t want the characters to be too over the top.  Airgood delivers with Prairie Evers.  The story of a home-schooled girl who has just moved to NY from NC who raises chickens, tries to make friends, and yearns to do the right thing.

See You At Harry’s, by Jo Knowles
            Most readers will be able to identify with having an embarrassing parent, and for Fern it’s her dad.  She’s in the middle of a big family with her older brother testing his wings and her younger brother glomming onto her and getting all the attention.  When a family tragedy rips Fern’s world apart her family must find common ties to get through it together.  I didn’t see it coming, and Knowles delivered a punch to the gut, but buoyed the whole thing up with love and hope.

One for the Murphys, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
            Now, one of my favorite books of all time is The Great Gilly Hopkins, and when I read the premise for this one I wasn’t so sure that it would deliver.  Mullaly Hunt does not rewrite the Paterson and provides a story of foster care that is sure to have readers reaching for some tissue.

Starry River of the Sky, by Grace Lin.
            This is an exquisitely written book in the same format of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon .  Folktales are woven within the story proper.  We follow Rendi’s search for the moon as he lives with Master Chao and Peyei.  Tension and pacing along with lush language make this book my favorite of the summer.  I read this in arc format and simply cannot wait to see the finished copy with the art!

Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble
            This is a fun, fun, fun YA romp through vampire land and fandom.  Jane is newly undead and things aren’t exactly turning out like she imagined.  Real life vamping is much different than the fanfic that she used to read and write while she was living.  Jane heads back to her family and tries to figure out the rules.

Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos
            After getting to meet Jack at ALA, I knew I had to go back and read this one.  Scary, honest and raw, this look into Jack’s past is an inspiring example of how much a person can change.


  1. I was so ANGRY with Mullaly Hunt after reading One for the Murphys. I wanted to know about counseling and what's right not jut what was. I had a STRONG reaction to that book. I would love to talk to any students who read it.

  2. You're not alone, Kathy. There are many conflicted feelings about the book. I've only read a few titles that even dealt with foster care in the MG realm...there's more YA for sure.


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