Tag Archives: realistic fiction

May Book Horoscopes!

IntroWhy hello there, all you Push To Talk readers! The Greenwood Teen Advisory Board is proud to present you with this month’s issue of the Monthly Book Horoscopes, which are book recommendations based on YOUR Zodiac sign!

It’s May, and that means that the end of the school year is finally within reach. We thought we might take a look back and celebrate what school is actually all about (and no, it’s not torture)… learning! Each year we read a lot of great books in school, so this month’s issue consists of books which we were forced to read for school and ended up loving. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did! ❤ 🙂

haroun and the sea of stories

Aries Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

This beautiful story tells the tale of Haroun, a boy who, in telling his own story, discovers what exactly makes stories and storytelling so important. The book is full of adventure and fun magical realism!

 

 

great expectations

Taurus Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

We know what you’re thinking. “Seriously? That book sounds soooo boring…” Not so! Great Expectations is fun, and nowhere near as dry as you may expect. It’s a classic… you HAVE to read it! 😉

 

 

madame bovary

Gemini Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Originally published in 1856, this groundbreaking novel sent major, scandalous waves crashing through French society. It cleverly satirizes society in a way that is also quite dark, intense, and somewhat sad.

 

 

night

Cancer Night by Elie Wiesel

This book is a tragic and important memoir. Elie Wiesel describes his experience as a Jewish prisoner in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Though it is short, it is well-written and very meaningful.

 

 

as i lay dying

Leo As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

This book is told from the perspectives of members of a poor southern family when their mother dies, leaving them questioning the value of their existence and relationships with others while their family begins to fall apart.

 

joy luck club

Virgo The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

This book tells about the lives of four Chinese immigrant families in San Francisco. It tells about the struggles of living as an immigrant in America, and the story is centered on the game of mahjong, which they play together.

 

 

1984

Libra 1984 by George Orwell

If you haven’t read 1984 yet, you should, because it is essentially the prerequisite to all those fun YA dystopian books we are seeing so much of today. The thrill and caution of this classic will haunt you for a while. Remember, Big Brother is always watching so he will know if you don’t read it!!

 

raisin in the sun Scorpio A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

This is a raw and moving play about an African American family living in the 1950s. They not only struggle to prosper in a discriminatory society and to coexist with one another in a difficult environment.

 

 

pride and prejudiceSagittarius Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Do not dismiss this novel based purely on its reputation as a “romance novel.” Give it a read and you will be blown away by the hilarity and brilliance of Jane Austen’s wit as she satirizes the society of Regency England.

 

legendCapricorn Legend by Marie Lu

Legend takes place in the Republic, the dystopian remnants of the western United States. Day is 15 and has failed his Trial, making him the most wanted criminal in the Republic, and June, another 15-year-old, is commissioned to hunt him down and kill him. Nobody expected what happens next…

 

little princeAquarius The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

While this book is intended for a younger audience, it has a beautiful message that is prevalent to people of all ages. This little prince will remind you to live life with an open imagination and a kind heart.

 

 

running in the familyPisces Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje

This autobiographical novel explores many different writing styles and methods as Michael Ondaatje retells his own story along with that of his family. This book is full of beautiful imagery and careful examination of the relationships we have with other people.

 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading these Horoscopes so far this year. We hope we’ve taken care of you and that you’ve found something good to read every month. We love you (almost as much as we love books)!! Happy reading!

Greenwood Teen Advisers

GWD

 

April Book Horoscopes!

Book logoHi there, readers!  We promised you a special horoscope surprise this month, and the time has come to unveil it.

As you may know, April is National Poetry Month.  So, in honor of this event, our teen astrologers have carefully selected a phenomenal collection of poetry as your suggested reading material this month. It’s time for you to find out which poetry is best suited for YOUR Zodiac sign. 🙂

AriesAries  Pushing Through Solid Rock” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Rainer Maria Rilke was a poet from Austria who wrote hundreds of beautiful, lyrical poems in different languages like German and French. To read more, check out Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, an eBook compilation of his work.

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

 

TaurusTaurus  “A Suggested Campaign Song” by Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller was a feminist writer and poet who wrote satirical poems for the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900s. You can find more of her work by following this link or by checking out one of her books, such as Women Are People!, from the library.

We are waging-can you doubt it?
A campaign so calm and still
No one knows a thing about it,
And we hope they never will.
No one knows
What we oppose,
And we hope they never will.

We are ladylike and quiet,
Here a whisper-there a hint;
Never speeches, bands or riot,
Nothing suitable for print.
No one knows
What we oppose,
For we never speak for print.

Sometimes in profound seclusion,
In some far (but homelike) spot,
We will make a dark allusion:
“We’re opposed to you-know-what.”
No one knows
What we oppose,
For we call it “You-Know-What.”

Continue reading

Hate List – Fitting in can be very hard

Hate ListTitle:  Hate List

Author:  Jennifer Brown

Summary:  After a tragic school shooting, Valerie Leftman is a complete outsider who is either seen as a hero or villain.  After writing a “hate list” with her boyfriend that was never meant to cause any harm, she will go back to face all the people she hurt and work towards solving the mystery of who she really is, and how she fit into what occurred that day.

Gut Reaction:  Compelling action, easy to connect with characters.

Stars:  8/10 stars because of the descriptive characters and suspense.

What I loved:  It is easy to relate to how the characters are feeling, and there is always a new part coming up that you didn’t expect. This book keeps you thinking and makes you feel like you are facing the obstacles along with Valerie.

Why:  Fitting in can be very hard at times, and this story shows that you never really know what people are going through. This book also shows how one careless action can lead to a lot of harm if you don’t think before you act which is a good lesson to learn.

Websites:  Hate List book trailer

–Afsara, Greenwood, Teen Adviser

GWD

Simone Elkeles for the “Realistic” Win!

Perfect ChemistryTitle: Perfect Chemistry (book #1 in the Perfect Chemistry Series)

Author: Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry is such an amazing book.  It blew me away.  The characters Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis both have issues to deal with in their lives and it makes the plot of the story real.  It was an outstanding book and if I had to read it again I would.  The book is targeted for young adults and I recommend every teenager to read it because it’s that good.  This book is about Alex who is known as the bad boy at Fairfield High School.  He is from the south and is very poor.  He had to join a gang to make sure his family is kept safe.  Brittany is the girl who has it all: the money, the house, the family and is the captain cheerleader at her school.  But what most people don’t know is that she hides behind a mask and makes sure nobody knows of her secrets, until one day Alex comes along and unravels them all.  They’re both not perfect but as long as they got each other everything will be all right.

 

Rules of Attraction Rules of Attraction(book #2)

Very addictive, I could not put this book down. The book is funny, romantic, addictive and unforgettable. I loved the pranks, the serious moments and the amazing connection between Carlos and Kiara. The book captured my heart and I recommend you read it. It’s fun and edgy and I promise it will be worth your time. Rules of Attraction is about Alex’s middle brother Carlos who had to come back to the United States to finish his education. Carlos can’t live with his brother in the dorms so Alex made sure that he stays with his professor until he graduates from high school. But things take a turn for the worst when Carlos meets the professor’s daughter Kiara and they start to prank each other. Carlos thinks Kiara is a goody two shoes who doesn’t know anything about his life and should just stay away from him. Kiara wants to help him with his life but she can’t help from falling in love with him at the same time. Carlos also starts to like Kiara but holds back thinking that being with her will cause trouble for her and her family. In the end he finally figures out that she means the world to him and that he can’t stay away from her no matter how hard he tries.

 

Chain ReactionChain Reaction (book #3)

I am obsessed with this book. This book is a great way to end the Fuentes trilogy. It was suspenseful and had me jumping at times. I loved the fact that it can go from being serious to being funny. I cried and I laughed and most of all I enjoyed the book. I recommend you read it, I promise you will love it. This book is about Alex and Carlos younger brother Luis Fuentes.  Luis is an adrenaline junkie, he likes to mountain climb and would one day hope to be an astronaut. He is always looking for a thrill. Nikki has experienced awful things in her past that included boys and she never wants to go through that ever again. She makes sure to never trust boys ever again and let them into her heart. But Luis falls madly in love with her and tries everything to get her to open her heart to him but she rejects him over and over again. She finally notices that he isn’t such a bad guy and gives him a chance. These two go through a lot of things in their lives but they always come back to each other in the end and that’s what counts to them.

Columbia Teen Advisory Group (TAG) Member

COL

Pattern Recognition – realistic mystery with a touch of science fiction

pattern-recognitionTitle: Pattern Recognition

Author: William Gibson

Summary: Pattern Recognition is a science-fiction mystery novel. The main character is Cayce Pollard, who works as an advertising/logo specialist. Mysterious yet artistic video clips are appearing on the internet, which attracts the attention of many people including Cayce. The CEO of the company Cayce is working with makes an offer for Cayce to track down more information about the video clips. Cayce gets a lead on the possible producer of these video clips from an online connection, and starts the hunt to figure out who is behind the mysterious video clips, and what their motive is.

I kept reading because: The book was fast paced and kept me interested along the way. There are a lot of references throughout the book that I had to stop and look up on Google. For instance, I had to look up some name brands and some types of machinery. However, this did not detract from the reading experience—rather, it enhanced my enjoyment of the book as I understood what the book was referencing and how it enhanced the story. The book is mainly geared towards high school upperclassmen, and would probably fall under young adult realistic fiction.

Who would love this book: Overall, I highly this book to anyone who likes realistic mystery books with a touch of science fiction. The book combines many different themes and plays around with the human psyche and mentality. I had to think about what was happening in the book multiple times. Each time, I would be blown away at how Gibson used his words to enhance the story. The sentences would get short and crisp when the situation became tense, but when a character was letting his/her thoughts flow, the sentences would become long and eloquent to fit the mood. This book is a masterpiece combining a riveting story with superb writing. Pick this book up today!

–Matthew, Grade 12, Lake City

LCY

March Book Horoscopes!

IntroWhy hello there, lovely readers! A new month is here, and that means it’s time for the next installment in everybody’s favorite recurring blog series. We are pleased to present you with the March installment of Greenwood Teen Advisory Board’s (TAB) Monthly Book Horoscopes, book recommendations based on YOUR Zodiac sign!

This issue is packed with a great variety in genres and, as always, covers books from all reading levels. Get excited, readers, because SPRING!!! is finally just around the corner! To celebrate, we have a special treat planned for our April issue… so stay tuned!

Aries

Tomboy by Liz PrinceTomboy

This endearing memoir in the form of a graphic novel tells the relatable story of growing up and trying to find a social identity. Liz Prince has never identified with the girly girls, but she also doesn’t truly fit in with the bros. What does it really mean to be a girl? Anybody who has been through middle school (and anybody who still has that adventure ahead of them) will relate to this book.

Taurus

Good OmensTaurus by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

If you like mythology, satire, and/or knee-slapping wit, then congratulations! – read this book.  Legendary authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett team up to tell the hilariously original and most decidedly fact-checked account of how the apocalypse actually happened. Angels, demons, and prophecies twisted together with some modern humor = this deliciously wordy bible of brilliance.

Gemini

The Eye of the World by Robert JordanEye of the World

Fantasy lovers looking for something new to read, your search is over! This book is the first installment of the Wheel of Time series, an epic saga that has been around since 1990. These adventures draw on all kinds of different mythologies to create a world crafted so intricately you won’t want to leave. It’s a good thing there are fourteen books in the series. You will be reading for a while!

Cancer

Ender's GameEnder’s Game:  Battle School by Orson Scott Card

You may have already read the great science-fiction novel Ender’s Game. You may even have seen the movie that came out in 2013! But the real question is, have you read it in graphic novel format? We didn’t think so. This special adaptation puts a new twist on the original story with illustrations that allow you to experience Ender’s adventures in battle school in a whole new way.

Leo

Something to Blog About by Shana NorrisSomething to Blog About

Libby Fawcett is blogging about her life online, in secret. The blog is where she can rant and vent about all the things she isn’t able to (or simply doesn’t wish to) discuss in person with anybody in her life. But what is going to happen when her blog is exposed for everyone to see? This book is a great coming of age story about the tribulations of being a girl in high school.

Virgo

Barrel FeverBarrel Fever by David Sedaris

This snappy collection of short stories and essays attacks everyone and everything – nobody is safe from David Sedaris’s cracking wit. If you are looking to bring a little more sarcasm and humor into your life, this should definitely be next on your to-read list! Please note that this book caters more towards an older audience – parental guidance is suggested for our younger readers.

Libra

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society

Katrina Bishop was born into a family of con men, and now she believes to finally have left that life behind her. She attends a fancy boarding school and doesn’t want to go back to her family’s scheming ways. But when she finds out her father is in trouble for stealing a series of priceless paintings, she needs to intervene. The suspense and girl-power is awesome! This book is the first book in a series.

 Scorpio

Amy and Roger's Epic DetourAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This is a story about a girl named Amy Curry who has to spend her summer driving her mother’s car from California to Connecticut in lieu of their cross-country move. An old family friend, Roger, accompanies her on the trip. Roger and Amy, who is struggling to come to terms with her father’s recent death in a car accident, discover a lot about each through their journey through this cute, inspiring book.

Sagittarius

Redshirts by John ScalziRedshirts

Andrew Dahl is excited to assume his new position in xenobiology on the starship Intrepid. But soon Andrew starts to notice something fishy going on with the mysterious Away Missions, which always seem to render one lower-ranked crew member dead. Set hundreds of years in the future, this is an excitingly original sci-fi read packed with suspense and guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for adventure.

Capricorn

The SilmarillionThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you are an unsatisfied Lord of the Rings fan dying for more material to sink your teeth into, then you need to check out the Silmarillion. This book is Tolkien’s deeper look into the mythology of Middle Earth, with explicit explanations of its legends and painstaking accounts of its histories that give insight into the cultures, languages, and backstories of the characters we see in Tolkien’s famous epics.

Aquarius

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen CooperAquarius

No, not that Odyssey – this book is about the journey of a very special cat named Homer. This heartwarming true story explains how Homer changed Gwen Cooper’s life, not only through his incredible persistence and will to survive through times of tragedy but also through the way she saw her own struggles reflected in him. Read this book if you like kitties, but also if you want to feel inspired.

Pisces  

Half MagicHalf Magic by Edward Eager

What happens when you wish on a magic coin that is only worth half as much as a normal one? The answer is described in this charming novel and contains just the right amount of silliness balanced with profound life insights. Readers of any age will laugh and sigh as they follow the mischief that ensues when four children misguidedly wish their hearts’ desires to come half true.

Remember to come back in April to get your next astrologically endorsed recommendation! We love you, happy reading!!

–Greenwood Teen Advisers

GWD

Monster – Well-Written with a Good Message

MonsterTitle: Monster

Author: Walter Dean Myers

Summary: Steve Harmon is a 16-year-old boy who is currently being tried in court for the robbery and murder of a man named Mr. Nesbitt. This book takes you through the court proceedings, as well as giving you inside knowledge of what happened based off of Steve’s journal and screenplay.

I give this book 8/10 stars. I tthought this book was well-written and sent across a really good message, but the format that it was written in made it really hard to understand what was going on. The majority of the book written as a 3rd person screenplay, but there are parts from Steve’s journal which is in 1st person.  For example, you might be reading about court proceedings, but the next scene might be a flashback, so you have to make a quick adjustment.

What I loved: I thought it was interesting that the author decided to write the whole story in a 3rd person screenplay format, but also having a 1st person journal sometimes making an appearance. The themes that accompanied the book were also interesting to read about.

What I hated: There was nothing that I didn’t really like, but if I had to pick, maybe it would have been the fact that whether Steve is guilty or not remains a mystery throughout the book.

–Liz, grade 8, Lake City

LCY