Monday, December 14, 2009


By Maggie Stiefvater

At a young age, Grace was attacked by the wolves that live in the woods behind her house. She survived thanks to one of the pack, "the wolf with the yellow eyes." Jack, a boy bitten by a wolf as a child, is her wolf savior. Since then, both Sam and Grace have remained captivated by one another. But after the apparent wolf attack and killing of Jack, a popular boy at Grace's high school, the town's citizens begin a hunt that leads to Sam being shot. His wound temporarily changes Sam from wolf to human form, and he and Grace finally meet. The two struggle to find a way to keep Sam human so they can stay together, but mysterious events are unfolding around town which threaten to tear them apart forever.

--Hollie Hawkins, Faculty

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Life As We Knew It

by meteor on a collision course with the moon it seems like no big deal. But after the meteor hits and the moon's orbit is pushed closer to the Earth, nothing will be the same. Natural disasters strike across the globe, and Miranda and her family must begin to deal with a new "normal," as everything they used to take for granted disappears. Food and gas shortages, early arrivals of severe winters, riots, and deaths force everyone to take a close look at what it means to survive.

--Sarah, P., Student

Friday, November 6, 2009

November Blues

by Sharon M. Draper,

Packed with emotion and real-life drama, this sequel to The Battle of Jericho, does a great job of describing the struggles many teens go through in high school. When high school senior, November, realizes she is pregnant her whole life changes. Adding to the chaos is the fact that her boyfriend, Josh, recently died in a freak hazing accident. Also dealing with the death of Josh is Jericho, who gives up everything he enjoys doing because of the guilt he feels about his cousin's death. Both characters share there feelings by narrating parts of this story, and both realize they must help one another overcome the challenges ahead of them. Draper does a great job of making the reader feel as though they are the ones going through the characters' situations. This is a sequel but is sure to please readers all on its own!

--Briana C., Student

Atomic Robo & the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (v. 1)

by Brian Clevinger & Scott Wegener

Atomic Robo is an awesome action/sci-fi/western graphic novel (that is also really funny)! In 1923, when scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla's career is fading, he reveals a robot with automatic intelligence - Atomic Robot! Soon Atomic Robo and crew are the go-to defense force against evil and the unexplained in the world. This volume is reminiscent of Hellboy or Umbrella Academy graphic novels, but if you like the idea of mechanical mummies, cyborgs, or Nazi brains that refuse to die, you'll like Atomic Robo!

-- Stephen, H., Student

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kiss and Blog

by Alyson Noel

When high school sophomore Winter is "dumped" by her life-long best friend
Sloane in favor of the popular crowd, she decides to get even. She begins writing a blog detailing Sloane's (aka "the Pink Princess") dirty little secrets. When the blog become far more popular than Winter ever imagined, she must deal with the consequences. Readers will love the way this story truly relates to many high school problems and situations, and the fast-paced drama is sure to please.

--Angela, A., Student

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

by Louise Rennison

What in the world is "snogging," and who exactly is Angus? In this hilarious Bridget Jones Diary - style book for a younger crowd, those questions and more are answered. Fourteen year-old Georgia chronicles her everyday misadventures in a comedy-filled diary which include embarrassing stories of her family, friends, and so-called love life. No topic is off limits, and through Georgia's experiences every teenager will find something to relate to. With wit, humor, and a delicious British vocabulary (don't worry American readers, Georgia has generously supplied a helpful glossary), readers will love this book!

--Leah, S., Student

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gamer Girl

by Mari Mancusi

Maddy Starr is the new girl in school. Since her parents' divorce, moving to a new town, and leaving all her old friends behind, she feels like an outcast more than ever. She dresses different than the other suburban kids at her school and loves to read and draw Manga. All of this has earned her the nickname,"Freak Girl" and constant torment from the clique of "Haters" at school. Maddy's only escape is into her favorite online game "Fields of Fantasy" where she has developed an alter-ego known as Allora. Gaining the strength to finally make friends at school by starting a Manga club, she feels like things are beginning to improve. Then the in-crowd "Haters” strike again, and Maddy must face her real-life fears and enemies once and for all.

--Philip S., Student

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Genius Squad

by Catherine Jinks

In this sequel to "Evil Genius," we find 15 year-old Cadel Piggott trying to survive as a protected witness in the Axis Institute investigations while avoiding life-threatening dangers from his imprisoned evil father. Along with his best friend, he joins a group of teenage computer hackers recruited to take down a rotten corporation and finally puts his evil genius training to good use. Full of twists and turns, cyber-espionage and the author's use of great detail, the reader will stay on the edge of their seat!

--Nick C., Student

The Supernaturalist

by Eoin Colfer

Set in a futuristic world where making money is everthing and people are treated as marketing test objects, orphan Cosmo Hill knows that he is living on borrowed time. After an attempt to escape from his orphanage, he is rescued by a group who call themselves the Supernaturalists. They have dedicated their lives to destroying Parasites which feed on the essence of the living. Cosmo joins the group in their attempt to destroy the creatures.

In this book, Colfer does a great job of providing an exciting read with enough twists and turns to keep the reader surprised - but never confused. The author is never afraid to take risks in his novels and in this one he succeeds at good characterization and fun plot.

-- Zack Varvel, Faculty

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

High school senior, Clay Jensen, comes home one day to find a package filled with audiotapes and a map. The tapes contain stories from Hannah Baker, a girl Clay adored from afar and who recently committed suicide. In the tapes Hannah provides 13 reasons why she committed suicide. Among the reasons she describes how her reputation was questioned, her parents were distracted by financial problems, her friends used her, and when she reached out for help, no one stepped forward. Finally, slights and misunderstandings snowballed until she could no longer cope. As Clay listens to her stories and visits the locations she describes, he reflects on how he might have been able to save Hannah. The author does a great job of explaining what it is like to be new in town, instantly gain popularity, but suffer through some tough teen-age problems. In the end, Hannah's final reason for her death may shock you.

--Jacob W., Student

Vampire Academy: Shadow Kiss

by Richelle Mead

This third book in the Vampire Academy series takes us back to St. Vladimir's Academy where Rose Hathaway is close to graduation. In these final stages of training, she is beginning to have terrible headaches, flashbacks, and a feeling that something is very wrong. As she struggles to keep her best friend Lissa, safe, her secret but forbidden love, Dimitri, is mysteriously taken. Soon she must choose between saving her best friends life and loosing her true love forever! With a twist ending that challenges Rose's inner strength, this book is full of action, drama, and romance!

--Kathleen M., Student

Drama High: The Fight

by L. Divine

Like the title of this series, this book is filled with drama! Jayd is a girl living in Compton, CA and attending a predominately white high school in a wealthy part of Los Angeles, where she and 30 other Compton kids get bussed to daily. In this book from the series, Jayd's confronted by her ex-boyfriend's new girl who wants to make sure Jayd understands he's off limits! With the fight set for Friday, Jayd quickly learns who her true friends are, and the enemies to keep an eye on.

--Alex P., Student

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

This is an amazing book about a kid named Charlie who's not very popular at his school. The story of this "wallflower" is told through letters that he writes to his unnamed friends. Over the course of the book you learn how Charlie deals with the usual high school problems--sex, drugs, the thuggish football team, and even a friend's suicide. This author does a great job of expressing how it feels to be a high school teenager trying to deal with problems big and small.

--Tyriona H., Student

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Black is the New Dead

by Marlene Perez

The Giordano sisters have psychic powers and a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. When Miss Popular, cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, comes back to school with a completely new look - dead, that is - it doesn't seem to bother anyone, and before long looking dead becomes the rage. That's when Daisy Giordano gets suspicious, and she and her sisters get to work investigating the strange events happening at school. Could the culprit really be a vampire? This book provides romance, mystery, adventure, and the supernatural all rolled up in a fast-paced, plot-twisting story that will keep you wanting more!

-- A'bre M., Student

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City

by Kirsten Miller

Ananka Fishbein lives in Manhattan and is just an average girl leading a mostly boring life. Until one day she wakes up to find the park across the street has become a giant sinkhole. Soon, Ananka meets mysterious Kiki Strike and together they form a group of highly talented girls called The Irregulars. As the girls begin to explore Shadow City, the secret city under New York's subway system, they begin to uncover its mysteries and a dangerous plot to destroy it. On top of it all, they must deal with the one million hungry rats that call Shadow city their home.

-- Philip S., Student

It's Kind of a Funny Story

by Ned Vizzini

After getting accepted into one of New York's most exclusive high schools, 9th grader Craig Gilner struggles to keep up with the pressure. He finds himself falling into a deep depression, and after contemplating suicide, checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. The only space available is on the adult psychiatric wing, and it is here where he finds the help he needs. Filled with humor, sadness, adventure, and hope, this is a great book that will keep you reading all the way through! It actually is a funny story!

-- Josh H., Student

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

by Steven Pressfield

Told in flashback by the sole survivor Xeones, this historical novel tells of the last stand of the famous 300 Spartans along with Greek allies at Thermopylae, "The Gates of Fire," against the massive invading army of the Persians commanded by king Xerxes. This tale reveals the life of Xeones from childhood, through his severe training with the elite Spartan guard and his loyal service as a squire to the Spartan knight Dienekes, ending with his detailed recounting of the heroic Spartan soldiers and their final battle against an overwhelming foe.

Joe Geisendorfer, Faculty

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Watchmen

by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

A comic book? I was hesitant too! But when I picked it up I immediately read the first couple of pages and fell in love with the story. Watchmen is a story about real superheroes from the 1980's and a plot to assassinate them. The story brings out a city's true colors and makes you imagine "What if they existed?"

--John T., Student


by Ian McEwan

So much more than a tale of star-crossed lovers torn apart by scandal, lies, and war, Atonement is an example of compelling prose. Set in Great Britain and France and using World War II as a backdrop, the novel follows Briony, Cecilia, and Robbie from the scene of a crime through its tragic denouement. Ian McEwan draws the reader into the minds of each character at different points in their lives in a way that elicits empathy--even when those characters commit terrible acts. Lessons in regret and the ability to forgive--or not--will last with you long after you turn the last page.

--Angela Boatright, Faculty