Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ready Player One

Ready Player One is by Ernest Cline. Wade Watts is a teenager living in Oklahoma in 2044. His, and everyone else's, favorite pastime is spending time in a virtual world called the OASIS. This world was created by billionaire genius James Halliday. Five years before the story begins Halliday dies and leaves his entire fortune to whoever can find three keys that unlock three gates. No one has yet found the first key, no one is even close; then Wade discovers a clue that might allow him to do the unimaginable - win Halliday's contest. A fantastic science fiction/dystopian thriller with a liberal dose of 80s pop culture thrown in.

Ratings: 10th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (some mature thematic content) - V (violence).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The House of Dies Drear

The House of Dies Drear is by Virginia Hamilton. A charming piece of historical fiction. A family moves into a house that was a former stop on the Underground Railroad. It is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of Dies Drear, the abolitionist owner of the house, and two slaves he was trying to help get away. Thomas and his family quickly begin to notice strange happenings in their house and strange behavior by their neighbors.

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Waste Land, Prufrock, and Other Poems

The Waste Land, Prufrock, and Other Poems is by T.S. Eliot. The master poet's greatest works. A wonderful selection for those new to Eliot's work, or those who know him well.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God is by Zora Neale Hurston. A must read classic! A novel that was lost for years before being rediscovered in the 1970s. It was initially rejected due to its strong black female protagonist, and by writer's of the Harlem Renaissance such as Richard Wright, who felt the Negro dialect was insulting to blacks. Hurston using spellbinding lyrical prose, tells the story of Janie. Raised by her grandmother, who arranged her first marriage, she marries three husbands and is tried for murdering one of them. This is a mesmerizing love story which reflects the real lives of black women in the segregated South. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: 12th grade - 10 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Maximum Ride Forever

Maximum Ride Forever is by James Patterson. The ninth book in the Maximum Ride series. All is finally revealed in this story of what happens to Max, Fang, and the rest of the flock after the world ends. Fans of the series will be excited to read this ultimate installment, and will enjoy the surprise ending.

Ratings: 9th grade - 8 out of 10 - V (violence) - AC (some mature thematic content).

Strings Attached

Strings Attached is by Judy Blundell. An excellent work of historical fiction set in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island in the late 1940s and 1950. Kit Corrigan arrives in New York from Providence to pursue a career on the stage. Her boyfriend, Billy, has enlisted and is preparing to ship out to Korea. His father, with whom he is estranged, is the lawyer for several mob bosses. He makes Kit a deal--he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then. Once she takes the deal Nate offers, how does she get out?

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).