A.J. (age 15)

“Even though I know it’s supposed to be fake, it still feels like a lot of this stuff could really happen. Even the space stuff. I just like to think that more could be happening out there than we think and some of the sci-fi books I’ve read get me to think about that more and more.”

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

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“My point is this: This book contains precisely zero important life lessons, or little-known facts about love or sappy tear-jerking moments when we know we had left our childhood behind for good, or whatever.”

“It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks.”

“This book makes it seem like I hate myself and everything I do. But that’s not totally true. I mostly just hate every person I’ve ever been.”

“Honestly? I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”


Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. New York: Amulet Books, 2012. Print.

ISBN:978-1-4197-0532-8, Print, $7.95.


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Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

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Blumenthal, Karen. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different. New York: Feiwel and Friends, (2012).

ISBN: 978-1-250-01461-0, e-book, $6.76.


               Furnishing a timeline that consists not only of a man’s life, but the life of modern day technology, Karen Blumenthal’s biography of the late, great Steve Jobs is a brilliant telling of how what a person thinks can change lives. Building off a speech Jobs gave for a graduation ceremony at Stanford University, Blumenthal outlines Jobs’ life through three significant stories that Jobs’ himself believed told all we really needed to know about his life. From adoption, through journeys of enlightenment, to failure, and eventually success, Job is illustrated as a very driven man. In this biography Blumenthal shows just how ambitious Jobs was, how his love for technology and business was nurtured by those around him, and how he used any means necessary to push his peers to their potential. He is flawed, he has made mistakes, he has driven those closest away from him, but he was able to learn from his mistakes, swallow his pride, and provide the world with technology that most of us can no longer live without.

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The Outsiders

 

TheOutsidersCover Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Speak, 2012. E-book.

ISBN: 978-1-101-64261-0 E-book: $4.99 USD


The Outsiders is a classic story written by S.E. Hinton that takes place within a few days, yet is able to relate the difficulties that “Greasers”, unfortunate teenage youths in 1960s America, faced. While already stuck in impoverished or otherwise unfortunate circumstances, their problems were only increased by their privileged counterparts, the “Socs.”  In the novel, one Greaser, Ponyboy, and his close friend, Johnny, have a physical encounter with a rowdy group of Socs whose intentions are far from honorable. In the scuffle, Johnny attempts to help Ponyboy from being drowned by the Socs, but ends up accidentally murdering one of their adversaries. Knowing their circumstances, knowing the other Socs knew who did it, and knowing how much the odds were stacked against them, they leave town with the help of an older friend of theirs. While away, Ponyboy and Johnny find themselves in yet another unfortunate circumstance when they are faced with a burning building, but Johnny emerges a hero after nearly dying trying to save children from the blaze. Unfortunately, Johnny passes away soon thereafter and the greasers find themselves torn between grief and trying to make sure Johnny was not lost in vain. They attempt to pick up the pieces and keep the dignity the Socs stole from them.

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A Wish After Midnight

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 Elliott, Zetta. A Wish After Midnight. Las Vegas: AmazonEncore, 2010. E-book.

ISBN: 978-0-98255-505-7  E-book: $3.99 USD


                    Zetta Elliott’s A Wish After Midnight is the story of a young girl named Genna who lives in Brooklyn and is faced with a number of problems as she and her family work to survive in a poverty-stricken area of the city. With three other siblings and a mother who is already working more than her fair share, Genna finds it her responsibility to try and get her family out of their current predicament. Unfortunately, while Genna is intelligent and hard-working, her self-esteem and stubborn nature make it difficult to decide on a true course of action until she is befriended by a young man named Judah. This new friend, while offering a side of romance, also helps Genna see how strong she is and how much strength she has to stand up for what she believes in. One night, Genna finds herself in a disagreement with her mother whose stubborn-headedness also causes her to remain in an unchanging situation, and Genna walks out. Soon thereafter, while seeking refuge at a nearby botanical garden that has always comforted her, Genna throws a penny she found into a wishing fountain and finds herself transported back to Civil War-era Brooklyn. Here, Genna faces another type of poverty that she must work to get out of; she must experience the toil and torment African Americans went through even as free citizens of this country. While there, seeing and experiencing first-hand how her race was treated, Genna is reminded of her own turmoil back home and uses that knowledge to help understand and fight through what she and her peers are currently going through. She summons the strength Judah helped her find to soldier through all the problems she and her peers face and is eventually able to transport herself back to the Brooklyn she came from.

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