Sunday, August 8, 2010

Call It Courage

by Armstrong Sperry

Mafatu is a son of Chief in the Pacific Islands.  The tribe calls him a coward because he is afraid of the water, ever since he watched his mother drown in the sea.  When Mafatu turns 12 years old, he decides that it is time to face his fears.  He builds a canoe and set sail.  He almost drowns in a storm and finds himself trapped on an island with cannibals.  Will he make it home?  Does he have the courage? 

I remember reading this book in middle school and enjoying it then.  I could call it a classic since it won the Newberry Medal in 1941.  It is still a great read, no matter how many times you read the book.  I found myself relating to Mafatu about facing my fears and trying to conquer with resistance.  It teaches those readers that with persistence you can overcome anything. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Esio Trot

by Roald Dahl

Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver. She is in love with her pet turtle, Alfie. Mrs. Silver doesn't even noticed Mr. Hoppy because all of her attention is on taking care of Alfie. Mr. Hoppy is a shy man, so he devises a plan to get her attention and have her fall in love with him.

Although, I am not a fan of other works of Dahl's, I am a fan of this book,. It is cute, light hearted story about a man who is willing to do anything to have the woman he loves notice him. He finds out what she is interested in and uses that as the attention starter. If you have not figured it out Esio Trot is tortoise spelled backwards.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Watcher

by james howe

Three troubled teens lives converge at a seaside resort. Chris Powell, a lifeguard, whose is dealing with the loss of his younger brother and how it has affected his family and their relationships. Evan, vacationing with his family, is watching his parent's relationship struggle. They both noticed "The Watcher", Margaret. Margaret is a small bony little girl, who sits on the beach watching others and writing in her notebook. She creates fairy-tales about Chris and Evan's lives to escape her reality. Can Chris and Evan stop and see what is really going on in "The Watcher"'s life?

"The Watcher" is a book about a three powerful teen subjects: Lost of a loved, facing parent's divorce, and admitting abuse and asking for help. The book hops around from the different perspectives of Chris, Evan, and Margaret and their interactions. How perception of a perfect life is wrong? This book can be a great way to talk about these difficult subjects with your teens.