Monday, November 12, 2007

Texas Lone Star Reading List

After using all of my reading time as an excuse for not blogging, here's the long awaited 2008-2009 Lone Star Reading List:

Berryhill, Shane. Chance Fortune and the Outlaws.
Bryant, Jen. Pieces of Georgia: A Novel.
Flinn, Alex. Beastly.
Hale, Marian. Dark Water Rising.
Halls, Kelly Milner. Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist.
Harper, Suzanne. The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney.
Haydon, Elizabeth. The Floating Island: The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.
Holm, Jennifer L. Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff.
Korman, Gordon. Schooled.
Kostick, Conor. Epic.
Lurie, April. Brothers, Boyfriends, & Other Criminal Minds.
McNish, Cliff. Breathe: A Ghost Story.
Resau, Laura. What the Moon Saw: A Novel.
Salisbury, Graham. Night of the Howling Dogs.
Schmidt, Gary D. The Wednesday Wars.
Scott, Michael. Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.
Smith, Roland. Peak.
Sonnenblick, Jordan. Zen and the Art of Faking It.
Stead, Rebecca. First Light. Wendy Lamb, 2007.
Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society.
For the annotated list, check the website:

Oops...Wrong Cookie has already reviewed The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf, Epic and Beastly. I'll try to review some of my other favorites!

Breathe: a ghost story by Cliff McNish

Jack and his mom move into a new (old) house to escape the memories of Jack’s recently deceased father. Jack has two things that are special about him; he has asthma and he can glimpse pieces of the past by touching objects. On Jack’s first night in the new house he wakes up unable to breathe with a ghost woman practically on top of him about to kiss him. She is even more surprised (and then delighted) than Jack that he can see and speak with her. She calls herself the Ghost Mother and since she lost her daughter over a century before she is more than eager to smother her new found son with motherly love. Jack has to find a way to rescue his mother, himself, and the other ghost children the Ghost Mother has trapped in the house before it’s too late for them all…

This book was SOOOOOO scary! Seriously, the Ghost Mother became chillingly evil and scary. This book brought new meaning to the line- death is a release, not a punishment. Unless of course, someone manages to capture your soul and feed off it bit by bit for decades finally forcing you into eternal torment. Wow. What a concept. Great character development, plot. I'm shivering right now thinking about the Ghost Mother. Very well done.

What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau

This book is by the same author as Red Glass which Patti blooged about several months ago (I still haven’t had a chance to read that one yet).

Clara’s father was an illegal immigrant from Mexico when he came to the U.S. over twenty years ago. She has never met or even talked to her grandparents on her father’s side. Sometimes she is ashamed of her cultural heritage and how her father entered the U.S. One long summer night she has a dream that something more is calling to her, but she can’t seem to find it. The next day she receives a letter from her Mexican grandparents asking her to come for a two month visit. At first she doesn’t want to go, but then realizes this may be what has been calling to her all along.

The setting and the descriptions of rural Mexico were so real I could taste them! Beautiful, beautiful imagery! It made me want to go live in a hut all summer- when in reality I don't even like camping!! And I loved Clara's character development. She really grew and discovered what it is to be something more than you are and about what's important in life. I loved the Grandmother's stories too. Very inspiring- almost folk tale like (definite magical realism going on). Loved it, loved it, loved it!

First Light by Rebecca Stead

This modern fantasy is told in two alternating voices. Peter’s father is a glaciologist who just received a research grant to gather data on Greenland’s glaciers to observe the effects of global warming. And this time there’s enough money to take Peter and his mother along for the ride. When they get to Greenland though, both his mother and his father seem to be looking for something important, something that they aren’t telling him about.

Thea lives in an underground colony beneath the ice. No one has gone above world or has even known where the tunnel leading to the surface is for centuries. Or so she thinks until she finds a mysterious map in her belongings after a family feast day.

Fate brings Thea and Peter together as they each discover a new world and reveal the mysterious histories of their own families.

This book shares many similarities with The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, but this is the much lighter, happier read of the two. The characters were very well done and so was the magical ice underworld!!!

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