Bent not Broken by Lotna Schultz Nicholson

February 28, 2017

one-2-one

Bent not Broken by celebrated and multi-nominated author, Lorna Schulz Nicholson is the third book in the acclaimed “One-2-One“series published by Clockwise Press and released this March, 2017. This is a series that focuses on teens in the ‘Best Buddies Program’ at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. ‘Here they help each other find and accept things about themselves.’ [back cover of Born with…].

In Bent not Broken, Justin and Madeline are ‘Best Buddies’ and have to deal with their own inner demons. For Madeline, her entire world needs to have the ‘reset button’ re-activated after a traumatic accident. This alone almost seems insurmountable, but having the feeling of her ‘twinness’ also severed, often results in frustration with herself that spills over and unintentionally results in uncontrollable reactions.  At these times  Justin’s quiet influence seems to be the only voice that steadies Maddie. As for Justin,  his personal life is also filled with tragedy and grief. However, both of these best buddies find common ground in an unexpected place that allows each of them to become “like a willow tree who bends in the face of adversity, but is not broken.” Told in alternating perspective, this tale of the human struggle with disappointment, grief, guilt, depression and self-worth. 

At the core it proves to the reader, that no matter what each of us has to endure, sharing the burden often lends each of us to tap and cultivate a hidden strength found within us all.

Schulz Nicholson has written this with such sensitivity and poignancy, that you cannot help but be totally engaged from beginning to end!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READ !!!!  

FIVE STARS

Checkout more- Lorna Schulz Nicholson at : http://lornaschultznicholson.com/

 


Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

March 27, 2014
A gripping, suspensful adventure set in the rugged landscape of Alaska

A gripping, suspensful adventure set in the rugged landscape of Alaska

 

 

 

Ice dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Boston/New York

279p. c2012

Cover by: Cliff Nielson & Sheila Smallwood Genre: Adventure; Realistic Fiction

Grade level: intermediate ( Grade 8; Grade 9)

 

 

Grit and determination have 14 year old dog musher, Victoria, practicing and running dog-sled races in order to qualify in the famed White  Wolf Classic. However, a sudden impulsive action of defiance, sees Victoria harnessing her dog team and travelling cross country to choose a top lead sled dog.

Trained by her father in the art of wilderness survival, she packs her sled for the day trip and mushed her team forward. It is during this trek she comes upon a lone and injured snowmobiler and is thrust into the uncomfortable role of rescuer. The injured person turns out to be a boy close to her in age and rapid changes in weather conditions force her to seek shelter and tend to the stranger’s injuries.

Vicky realizes that this is one circumstance her beloved father hadn’t prepared her for. A chain of unexpected events unfolds and now teens and dogs find themselves fighting for survival in a race against time in the unpredictable Alaskan environment.

A gripping, suspenseful debut novel by Canadian author, Terry Lynn Johnson, is filled with rich detail and suspense.

Where a young woman’s inner resources and strength are tested time and again, in the ruggedly beautiful harsh landscape that is Alaska.

A story where all are heroes.

A tale that will engage readers until the end!

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

 

 


Shapeshifter By Holly Bennett

March 27, 2011

By author: Holly Bennett
ISBN: 9781554691586
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: April/01/2010
Pages: 256

I’ve always enjoyed the works of author Holly Bennett, and found that this new novel did not disappoint!

Shapeshifter…ummm…the word alone just intrigues the mind….and leads into a world of magic that is reminiscent of Celtic folklore and ancient tales. This is the heartbreaking turbulent story of a girl who  shape shifts into a deer in order to escape the relentless pursuit of a malevolent and yet powerful sorcerer.

Bennett has truly intertwined and captured the lore, mystic and magic of  Ireland and reached far back into the  human psyche where the lines were blurred between mortal and immortality. Sive is one of those ‘immortals’ who not only can ‘shapeshift’ but is gifted with a special unquie talent of ‘Song’.  Her ‘singing’ is not of the ordinary and it  is this gift that brings her to the attention of Far Doirche, a sorcerer who first tries to marry Sive. When this fails he begins an all out attempt to enthrall her to do his bidding. Surrounded by courageous family and friends, Sive manages to escape  for a time by slipping past the boundaries of her world and into the world of mortals. Here she finds temporary refuge by taking a mortal form and living within a protective circle that allows her to even become a mother. Her protective instincts have her sacrificing herself to Far Doirche’s enchantment and thus begins her agonizing psychological torment. Salvation arrives in the quise of her son, but have the anguish and distress of being in the sorcerer’s thrall prove to be to much?

  Bennet’s use of different perspectives in the narration of this well told fantasy tale, makes clever use of Irish lore, culture, geography and language.  What is also useful to readers at the end of the novel ,  is the  pronounciation guide in the names and places used, and another version of the legend of Sive.

Interest Level: strong Junior readers/ Intermediate/ Senior

Genre: Myths and legends; Magic; Fantasy

Who would love this book?  Any reader interested in the folktales, legends  of Ireland. 

Author Weblink:

http://www.hollybennett.net/


End of Days by Max Turner

March 27, 2011

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312592523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312592523
  • _____________________________________________________________

  • Turner’s runaway hit Nightrunner is followed by this action-packed sequel and enough of the first novel is intertwined and disclosed within these pages that this title can be read as a stand alone book.This book continues where the first left off, with Zach Thompson and his two friends, Charlie and Luna all trying to come to terms with being  vampires and all the changes and implications that this transformation has brought into their lives. After attending a rave-like dance, Zach and Charlie become part of an altercation and have to run for their lives. It is while they are on the run that they witness a strange wolf-like creature making short work of the vampire that was chasing them.  It is this mysterious creature that begins a systematic dismantling of the network of support that enables Charlie and others like him to survive, which throws the “underground” into chaos. As the turmoil around them increases , Zach and Charlie are forced to hide, and stumble upon an ancient prophecy that hints at the “End of Days”. Zach takes it upon himself to find out answers and with the help and courage of his friends begins on this path of good at a time when it seems only the ruthless can survive.I truly like the plotline of this story and found that the characters were well developed and that the relationship between Zach and Luna was also blooming.  The reaction of Charlie to his transformation into a vampire was also different…much more human in his anger, resentment and rebellion at being a vampire…just realizing what he has lost in becoming a vampire. This is an action-packed urban thriller that I think will appeal to young adult readers!
  • Reading  ability:  Grade 7,8, 9

    Genre: Supernatural urban-fantasy thriller

    Who would like this book?

    Readers of books like: The Darkest Powers series by Kelly Armstrong;  Deception by Lee Nichols;  Angel ( Maxium Ride 7 ) by James Patterson

    http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780312592523&m_type=6#widget


    After by Hazel Hutchins

    August 5, 2010

    Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level:  Q    Grade Level:   5-7  

    Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure

      Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available  at  Classroom Support Centre

    Red Maple Nominee 2010 ,  176 Pages

    ___________________________________

    How do families cope in the aftermath of a tragic shooting?
    Follow Kate and Sam to see how families on both side of violence are impacted.” 
    http://accessola.com/forest2010/redmaple/rm1/about.php

    ____________________________________________________

    Review by Karen

    After is the story of told in alternating  perspectives by two young teens that each have lost a sibling at the same store shooting. Kate writes her feelings to her best friend “Amy”  and it is through her entries we become privy to her accumulating feelings of despair, grief, loneliness and an ever-growing  anger.   “ I am so angry. I am so mad.  … all week the silence in our house is has been so loud its like living completely and utterly alone“.

    Sam thoughts also reveal his perspective on what the sudden act of violence perpetrated by his older brother is costing him and his family. He is fearful of showing his emotions and that ” if he ever lets the anger out, the kind of madness that explodes, he ‘d be like Everett and never be able to stop.” 

    A year later as the anniversary of this tragic event draws near, unbearable silences slowly give way to unexpected friendships. The tension climaxes when the two grieving mothers unexpectedly meet!

     Canadian author, Ms. Hutchins has delivered a very powerful book in After. I highly recommend this for any student from grade 6 to 9!

     Author Website: http://www.hazelhutchins.net/


    If I stay by Gayle Foreman

    June 10, 2010

    This striking cover is what first captured my attention. I must admit that I did have this book sitting on my “to be read’ table for awhile, but when I did crack open the cover,  well everything else fell to the wayside! 

    After the opening chapter, the majority of the story takes place over a span of twenty four hours, when the life of Mia, a 17 year old aspiring young cellist is irrevocably changed in a heartbeat when their family vehicle is involved in an accident leaving her the sole survivor. Reviewing her life up until that moment, Mia is faced with making an agonizing and heartbreaking choice!  

     If I stay is the story of poignancy, love tragedy, sadness and hope.  Be prepared to have a tissue or two in hand when reading this brilliant powerful little book! 

     Highly recommended!!!!
    Grade Level:  (mature grade 7) ,8 ,9 (Intermediate Fiction)
    Genre: Fantasy/ Realistic Fiction
    April 9th 2009 by Dutton Juvenile; 199 pages ;                                                     isbn 0525421033    (isbn13: 9780525421030)
     
    Literary awards:

    Author/Book Trailer : http://www.gayleforman.com/books/if-i-stay/videos/


    Home Free by Sharon Jennings

    April 8, 2010

    Meet Leanna Mets ….an engaging 12 year-old whose unquenchable spirit and inquisitive nature is the backbone in Canadian author Sharon Jennings’  coming of age novel Home Free.

    It is the 1960’s… the age of white go-go boots, John Lennon hats, The Ed Sullivan Show and childhood innocence .  Lee is part of a school writing club and is told by her teacher that she has a ‘gift’.  Taking her teacher’s words to heart Lee incorporates all the components of good writing and begins on her first story. In her ‘Author Notes’ she remarks that writers embellish the truth a little to make it better or maybe a little worse and that it will be up to the reader to determine which parts of her story are true and which are embellished.  This phrase becomes the starting point  for Lee’s story ” of a summer that was both wonderful and terribly sad” .

    Lee’s mom is a firm believer in the traditional role of women and sniff’s her disapproval as  Lee continues writing or asking  questions that “ladies should not be asking”.   Writing and reading are Lee’s escape and after being introduced to Anne Shirley and Green Gables, her daydream of a kindred spirit is on the brink of becoming reality with the arrival a ‘possible orphan’ named Cassandra.   

    Our aspiring writer’s  unorthodox approach to Cassandra develops into a friendship  where both girls gain the courage to trust themselves enough to do daring things . At this point Lee says that “suddenly it was like being struck by lightning” and both girls realize that their sanctuary is not a physical space, but that it would be a place with them always …if they just look inside themselves.

     Lee’s brave honest approach to life will resonate with  readers both young and old ……and bring a smile to your face! A true ‘Gutsy Girl’ book!

    Reading ability:  Junior (Grade 5,6)

    Genre:  Realistic fiction

    Theme: Acceptance, Courage, Grief, Death, Friendship: Social issues; Coming of age; Writing

    Similiar Reads:  Books by Judy Blume

    Author Website:

    http://www.annickpress.com/authors/jennings.asp?author=226