{Book Review} Some Boys

{Book Review} Some BoysSome Boys by Patty Blount
Published by Sourcebooks on August 5th 2014
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 339
Source: Purchased
Add to your TBR on Goodreads
five-stars

Some girls say no. Some boys don't listen. When Grace meets Ian, she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses Zac, the town golden boy, of rape, everyone turns against her. Ian wouldn't be the first to call her a slut and a liar. Except Ian doesn't reject her. He's the one person who looks past the taunts and the names and the tough-girl act to see the real Grace. He's the one who gives her the courage to fight back. He's also Zac's best friend.

What do you do if you’re raped by the most popular boy in school and no one believes you? If you’re Grace, you stand up to everyone no matter what until someone believes you. She shows courage and determination even when everyone turns against her, including her best friends. I really admired this about Grace, because I know when I was in high school I never would have been that brave.

“It would be so easy for you to – I don’t know – hide. Run away. Pretend.” He shakes his head. “But you get in people’s faces. You don’t back off. Even when you’re scared. And you’re scared a lot lately, aren’t you.”

The book, told in alternating chapters between Grace and Ian, the best friend of Zac, the boy who raped her. Ian has always liked Grace, but since Zac is the alpha male of the group and “scored” with her, which apparently means she is now off limits. After Ian and Grace are both assigned week long detention during spring break, Ian starts to realize that things aren’t always as they appear.  The book raises important stereotypes that pervade the issues of sexual assault, such as the way a girl dresses or that fact that she was drinking.

“I just want people to believe it happened.” I shiver, suddenly cold. “Nobody does, you know. The cops wanted to know if I was Zac’s girlfriend, if I was drinking, doing drugs, if I ever worked as a stripper, if I ever kissed Zac before that night. What the hell does any of that have to do with what happened? Do the laws against sexual assault not apply to strippers? To girlfriends? I don’t get that.”

Along the same lines as Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Some Boys is an important and well written book about sexual assault which I highly recommend. It would make an excellent book club/discussion book.

five-stars

Student Library Aides

libraryaidesAs a solo librarian, student library aides are a tremendous help to me in the library. I normally have a few students each year that are interested in helping out in the library, sometimes this has been very successful and other times not so much. This year I decided to make it more formal and have students apply to become library aides. Even though the application is very simple, I figured if they went to the trouble to fill it out they must be interested as well as invested in the library. I only allow students that are upperclassmen apply because student librarians are primarily responsible for checking books in and out which requires a lot of customer service and I have found that freshman are not yet comfortable in this role. The most important quality a student can have working for me is being friendly and outgoing. All my library aides this year were awesome!

Feel free to download and modify my library aide application for use in your library.

Library Aide Application

Why I Love Twitter

Twitter is not only a great place to share things your passionate about but it’s a great place to have conversations and create connections. One of the things that I love about Twitter is being able to connect to authors about their books. Nothing gets me more excited than for an author to retweet, favorite and even respond to one of my tweets! This experience never would have happened before Twitter. Many YA authors engage with their readers and I had this great experience with Andrew Smith while I was reading his book Winger.

AndrewSmith

These experiences create a connection to the author and I always go back to my students and share the experience, especially when I am recommending books to them.

I recently finished The Last Time We Say Goodbye which had me in tears. Loved this tweet from Cynthia Hand.

{Book Review} The Last Time We Say Goodbye

{Book Review} The Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on February 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Add to your TBR on Goodreads
five-stars

THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is a poignant, layered and compelling novel about a teenage girl grappling with the suicide of her younger brother Ages: 13+ The last time Lex was happy was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment. Now she's the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be. As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone - a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything. Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that the past doesn't have to define the present. From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a story of love, loss and learning how to let go.

“Time passes. That’s the rule. No matter what happens, no matter how much it might feel like everything in your life has frozen around one particular moment, time marches on.”

I ended this book with tears streaming down my face, actually I was balling. Even after I finished reading I couldn’t stop crying. My husband was worried about me.

I couldn’t stop reading. What was the text that that Lex got from her brother? Who was leaving her the paper flowers? Why did she break up with Steven? Was her brother sending her messages from the afterlife? I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Suicide is one of the hardest deaths with far reaching consequences. Cynthia Hand shows first hand the impact it has on the people closest to the victim and the guilt that clouds those people. Could they have stopped it? Why didn’t they see that person was hurting? Why didn’t they reach out for help? Everyone works through their grief in different ways, but eventually they learn that they must move on.

I loved all the characters in the book, but Steven, Lex’s geeky, math nerd boyfriend, was by far my favorite. He’s my new favorite book boyfriend.

I absolutely LOVED this book!

five-stars

{Book List} Justice

JusticeA teacher recently asked me to see if we had enough books in the library for her class to do a project based on justice. It could be fiction or non-fiction, it could be set in the present, past or future and be any form of justice, whether criminal, racial or social. I turned to the trusty YALSA-BK listserv for some help and we came up with quite a few titles as well as some lists on other websites.

Do you have any other great books that you would add to this list?

Non-Fiction

  • The High Price I Had to Pay 2 Sentenced to 30 Years as a Nonviolent. First Time Offender. by Michelle Myers
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
  • Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross
  • Losing Matt Shepard: life and politics in the aftermath of an anti-gay murder by Beth Loffreda
  • The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
  • No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
  • Pete Rose: An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy
  • The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
  • An Unspeakable Crime: the prosecution and persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin
  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

 

Fiction

  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
  • The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  • I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves Robin Talley
  • The Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle
  • Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers
  • Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
  • The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
  • Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis
  • Mortal Danger by Ann Aguire
  • Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
  • Returning to Normal by Patrick Jones
  • Rikers High by Paul Volponi

 

Graphic Novels

  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
  • Superhero graphic novels

 

Book Lists on Other Websites

Graphic Novels & Manga – Collection Development Resources

graphicnovelsI love reading young adult books and really try to stay current on the latest great books and trends, but knowledge of graphic novels and manga is definitely not my strong suit. My library has an outstanding collection of graphic novels and a fairly good collection of manga thanks to the former librarian and I have been trying to continuously add to it. I love having a subscription to Junior Library Guild’s graphic novels category, that way every month I get a great new graphic novel. Students are also a great resource for recommendations especially for manga. Here are some other great places to find all the latest news on graphic novels and manga.

Do you have another great resources that you use for graphic novels and manga? Please share them in the comments!