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Archive for May, 2012

Twelve-year-old Robert Jacklin comes face-to-face with bigotry, racism, and brutality when he is uprooted from England and moves to Zimbabwe with his family. Enrolled in one of the country’s elite boys’ boarding schools, the school is a microcosm of the horrible problems faced by the struggling new country in the wake of a bloody civil war. The white boys are elitist and want their old country, Rhodesia, back. Subsequently they torment the black African students and villagers as well. Robert must make careful alliances because he is the outsider struggling to fit in. His decision to join the ranks of the more powerful white boys has a devastating effect on his conscience and his emergence as a man.

Out of Shadows is a well-written gripping tale that moves quickly and with devastating results.

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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The contestants of The Miss Team Dream pageant thought their only problems were going to involve wardrobe malfunctions or the regular pageant drama, but when their plane crashes they are left on a mysterious island to fend for themselves. With little water, food and hardly any hair-care products the girls soon learn that it is going take more than a killer smile and show-stopping walk to survive until they are rescued. What these pageant princesses don’t know is that this island isn’t quite as deserted as they thought. Filled with crazy dictators, evil corporations, love, fake pirates and a lot of girl power this satire is recommended for anyone who loves a good laugh!

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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Divergent fans, hang on to your hats because you will not be disappointed with this second installment of the trilogy. *Disclaimer: as a librarian at an all girls’ school, I love a good story with a strong female hero. This one fits the bill.* The story picks up right where the first left off. This futuristic society is left reeling after the Erudite ( intellectual) faction has used a sort of mind control to use the Dauntless (fearless tattooed warriors) to essentially wipe out the selfless Abnegation who ruled their society’s government. Our hero, Tris, is shaken after seeing many of her friends and family killed in battle and she and her boyfriend Tobias have found temporary shelter with the peace-loving Amity. You will enjoy this roller coaster story as Roth does a great job helping you experience both the physical and psychological challenges that the characters endure. Can Tris and Tobias’ love overcome the conflict? Can murder in the name of survival be forgiven, even if it is your best friend who killed your loved one? Just how many Divergent are there among the factions and how have they come to be? I recommend this series for older readers who don’t mind a darker, sometimes violent story a la Hunger Games. It’s a page turner and I’m anxiously awaiting the final installment, coming sometime in 2013.

If you’re interested, a good fan site for the trilogy is here.

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

 

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 Joylin is growing up and doesn’t like it very much. Told in free verse, she reveals her love of basketball and her overwhelming urge to attract the new boy at school; however, she realizes that you really can’t be something you’re not.  The story is touching and laugh-out-loud funny, and you will appreciate Joylin, her family, and her friends as they live, grow, and learn together and as individuals.

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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“Birds like to come back to the same spot. They are creatures of habit, you see.” But to Blessing and her brother having to leave their comfortable home in Lagos, Nigeria with air conditioning, electricity and running water to go live with their grandparents  in Warri is a living nightmare. There is no air conditioning, electricity or running water, and not enough money for Blessing and her brother to go to school.  However, as Warri comes to feel like home, Blessing becomes increasingly aware of the threats to its safety, both from its unshakable but dangerous traditions and the relentless carelessness of the modern world. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family’s attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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