13 Jan 2008

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (a Review)

When people say not to judge the book by its cover, I suggest you to judge this book by its cover.

Stargirl's cover is simple yet attractive. And, it is the same with the content.


Stargirl, whose real name is Susan Julia Caraway, is a special girl. Having been homeschooled for years makes her different from the other kids in the school she enters. Her way of dressing, her activities, as well as her gentle and genuine heart--singging "Happy Birthday" with her ukulele for the kids at school--seems to make other kids feel offended.

But then, for Leo, a boy that secretly falls in love then turns out to be her boyfriend, she is willing to change. She doesn't wear unusual outfit anymore, instead she shows up in a pair of jeans, just like other kids at school.
However, the kids still dislike her, especially after what she has done in the basket game, cheering the opposing team.

And, one day, on a Ocotillo Ball, a popular girl named Hillari Kimble, gets angry and slaps Stargirl in the face for her showing up. Stargirl responds with a kiss on the cheek and leaves, never to return. She and her family move away.

This novel is special for the lesson it teaches. It is about being yourself and not afraid of being different. This would make a great book not only for teens but also for preteens.


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9 Jan 2008

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

This is one of James Patterson's novels that is different from the others that he usually writes, the murder mystery novels, such as Kiss the Girls, Marry Marry, etc.

This one is about treasuring every moment with the special one & about being thankful for what you have. It's about families, love, loss, new love & hope.

Some readers confuse this particular Patterson's writing with Nicholas Sparks. Yet, it seems like Sparks' fans don't mind the similarity, they even enjoy it.


New York book editor Katie Wilkinson believed that she found her soul mate in poet-house painter Matt Harrison. However, instead of a lifetime together, they share a year before Matt vanishes. After disappearing from her life, Matt mails Katie a diary written by his wife Suzanne.

Katie cannot help but read the journal that Suzanne has written to her and Matt's son. She explains how she was a yuppie doctor in Boston until she suffered a heart attack in her mid thirties. Knowing she needed a lifestyle change, Suzanne fled to Martha's Vinyard where she falls in love with Matt. They marry and have a child. As she reads, Katie begins to feel she knows Suzanne and Nicholas as old friends. Still even she wonders if she should try to see Matt one last time once she finishes the cherished diary lovingly written by a mother to a son?

This is one of the books turned into a movie.


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8 Jan 2008

The Higher Power of Lucky

Author: Susan Patron
Illustrator: Matt Phelan

The yellow cover is somehow eye-catching both for kids and adult. Although being awarded the 2007 Newbery Medal--the most prestigious award in children’s literature--, the book has raised a controversy. Some school librarians have even pledged to ban the book from elementary schools. The reason is because of the use of the word "scrotum" on its first page.


Lucky, a ten-year-old girl, lives in Hard Pan, a desert township with a population of 43, where everyone receives government surplus and live in trailers or a water tank.

When Lucky's mother is electrocuted and dies after a storm, Brigitte, her dad's first wife, comes from France to take care of Lucky until a foster home can be found.

Lucky worries that Brigitte will decide to return to France; so to escape that situation, Lucky decides to run away with her faithful dog and her "survival backpack." This anxiety prompts Lucky to seek help from her "Higher Power", a notion she gets from eavesdropping at her town's 12-step meetings.

Unfortunately, Lucky leaves during a dust storm that becomes dangerous.


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6 Jan 2008

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

This debut of Kim Edwards is stunning. The Memory Keeper's Daughter explores how a family face a problem within, grief, lost.

Knowing that one of the twins his wife just gives birth to, a daughter has Down Syndrom--the other one, a boy, is healthy, Dr. David Henry asks his nurse--who secretly loves him--, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Yet, the nurse decided to raise the child herself.

Live a separate life, they also live a different life. The baby girl is raised with love while the baby boy is raised with tension. The mother grieves the loss of her twin baby girl. And, the father lives in his own world of guilt not knowing if his decision was right or wrong.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a novel with psychological depth. It will touch all its reader's heart.


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