Category Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: When You Reach Me

This is one of those books that go on the “I can’t wait to read it aloud to my Little Lucy” list.  A middle grade novel that tells a tale of friendship.  The genre is hard to pin down, part science fiction and part mystery.  The setting is 1979 in the Upper West Side of New York city and a sixth grade girl, Miranda lives in a small apartment with her single mother who has just found out that she will be a contestant on the “$20,000 Pyramid” game show.  Miranda’s neighborhood is filled with interesting characters:  her best friend Sal, who lives in her building but suddenly stops talking to her after getting punched walking home from school, Jimmy, the deli shop owner that allows Miranda and her friends to work during their lunch hour and has a piggy bank full of $2.00 bills, and the crazy man on the corner who shouts out weird words and sleeps with his head under the mailbox.  Miranda is trying to piece together some odd notes that appear asking her to do things and telling her about events that haven’t happened yet.  Meanwhile she makes some new friends along the way.  This is a highly engaging novel, with the opportunity for great discussion and children will love trying to solve the puzzle and fit each piece together as they read.  It is not surprising that this book has won a Newbery Medal.

Title:  When you reach me

Author:  Rebecca Stead

Publisher:  Wendy Lamb Books

ISBN:  978-0-385-90664-7


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Book Review: The Hunger Games

I actually read the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy two summers ago.  However, with the release of the movie tomorrow (I have tickets for a 10 a.m. showing!) I thought it the perfect time to promote this fantastic book!

In a futuristic world of North America, Katniss must fight to the death in order to survive the Hunger Games and provide her family and district with the food and money it desperately needs.  The annual Hunger Games, a televised event watched by all, are a punishment to the districts for a rebellion attempted years ago.  Now each year a boy and a girl from the twelve districts are chosen to compete by surviving in the wild in a gladiator-style fight.  Will Katniss survive on her own?  Will she be able to kill Peeta, the boy from her district who once saved her family from starving?  This book is a fast paced and filled with, not only suspense, but questions about political tyranny, love and friendship.

“The Hunger Games” is by far my favorite book in the trilogy, but I highly recommend reading all three books.  I have to admit one of my favorite aspects of this book is the enticing love triangle (also why I loved the Twilight Saga) that is set up between Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  I happened to read this book while in the middle of my graduate program for Library Science so I have an extensive amount of materials I created to accompany this book.  Check out my practicum website to find a week-long Hunger Games Program for Middle School, readers advisory, and a book talk accompanied by a promotional Glog.
Title:  The Hunger Games
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Publisher:  Scholastic
ISBN:  9780439023481

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