Feb 20, 2014

#HubChallenge: Maggot Moon

I'm starting off my Hub Reading Challenge! If you want to follow my progress, I'm compiling all of the entries over here and if you want to read more about the Challenge, you can do so over at The Hub.

Title: Maggot Moon
Author: Sally Gardner
Award/List: Printz Honor

This is going to sound weird, but I really wanted to read this book and get it out of the way.  I hate the word maggot.  So much.  It's bizarre.  Growing up, it was very difficult to watch Cadet Kelly when it aired (all of the time) on Disney.

Sadly, I read this as an ebook and for some reason it did not contain the illustrations that accompany the story.  I actually didn't even realize there were illustrations until I looked at the ALA description of the book.  I did enjoy the story without them, but now I'm worried that I missed a lot of insight and story. But, I did jump into this book blindly and was pleasantly surprised.

The story as I read it: Standish and his grandfather live in the lowest of the sectors of a totalitarian Motherland, just barely getting by. Oppression surrounds Standish at home, school and the playground. After being subjected to extreme violence on an almost daily basis, Standish and his grandfather take action to shine a light of truth on the Motherland's projection of reality. Soon everyone will know what's beyond the wall.

It's a story about friendship, trust, and rebellion.  Definitely worth picking up.  It was a fast read, but then again, I read it without the pictures which I'm really sad about! Has anyone read it with the pictures? AKA how it's supposed to be read? Should I stumble into a bookstore and flip through a book?

Feb 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Cry

How fitting that this week's Top Ten Tuesday is books that will make you cry, because I was holding back tears this morning on the commute to work.  It was only partly because the train was grossly overheated and stuffed with people refusing to acknowledge that my lap was an inappropriate place to put their foot.  I wasn't even seated.  No, I was finishing a tearjerker this morning so I will use that to start my

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry:

1. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

Mia and her family are in a fatal car crash. While the rest of her family dies on impact, Mia is the only one still holding on. Mia's spirit moves outside her body, wandering the hospital where doctors struggle to save her life and watching her remaining loved ones try to cope with the huge loss.  She struggles with the decision to continue her life without her family or move on to be alongside them.  A film version is being released later this year.

2. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

This is the book that everyone says makes them cry.  I wanted to prove everyone wrong and not cry when I read it last year, but it was absolutely impossible.  Again, the film version is out later this year (YA lit is pretty trendy, eh?)

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling

Dobby.  That is all.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Hannah committed suicide two weeks ago and left behind thirteen cassette tapes detailing the reasons why she decided to end her life. The tapes are passed from one person to another, so they can listen to what they did that resulted in her ultimate decision.

5. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Set during the Holocaust, Liesel shares the books she steals with her neighbors and the Jewish man her family is helping to hide.  Narrated by death, it's a very powerful book that offers a new perspective on a terrible time in history.  I know a movie was released last year (again, trend), and it is still upsetting to me to this day.

6. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

When my 7th grade teacher read the first page aloud to us in an effort to booktalk it, it came across as an hilarious book. And while it is humorous at times, it doesn't shield the reader from the horrific experiences Melinda goes through in one year of high school.

7. Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

I read this for class in 5th grade.  I believe it's my first encounter with the phenomenon of "dogs on the cover usually die inside the book."

8. The Five People You Meet In Heaven, by Mitch Albom

I mean, this book is designed for that purpose, no?

9. Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White

The message of this book, as so delicately put by Phoebe from Friends: "The spider, she dies, she dies. She has babies and dies. It's like, you know: Hey, welcome home from the hospital. Thud."  Okay, not the message, but it definitely brings on the heartache.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chobsky

I didn't actually cry the first time I read this novel.  The second time through, though, I started picking up all of the clues foreshadowing the ending and it really had an emotional impact on me.  Such a great book. 

Check out more tearjerker lists over at The Broke and the Bookish!