Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Book talk: Jack lives an old-fashioned, quiet life on a farm in a small town. When he finds out his parents are fostering a teen who has been to prison and has a history of violent outbursts, he isn't sure what to think. The first sign Jack has that Joseph is more than his past is that the cows trust him. The more Jack learns about Joseph's life, the more Jack wants to help. The only thing Joseph really seems to care about is getting to meet his new-born daughter. Jack could never have anticipated the heartache and sacrifices that Joseph's path would require.
Rave: Get out your tissue boxes because just one may not last you with this novel. I fell so deeply in love with all the characters. There's so many well-meaning people trying their hardest to do good in such heart-breaking circumstances. I appreciate that there's no candy-coating or easy outs. Despite the tragic ending, this book still managed to leave me hopeful thanks to the many inspiring characters in its pages.
Every book its reader: I'd give this to fans of tear-jerkers 6th grade and up. It would be a great pick for book clubs. It would make for some excellent discussions.
Topics and trends: tear-jerkers, foster care, adoption, abuse, alcoholism, rural life, teen pregnancy
Source: ARC from ALA
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt: buy it or check it out today!
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Book talk: Braden wants nothing more than to keep his head down and play baseball. But his entire world is turned upside-down when his father is arrested for killing a police officer. His father is a well-known christian radio personality, which makes the case a field day for the press. Braden is the key witness in his trail, and in the midst of this circus he has to decide how he will testify. Everyone takes sides, and naturally his team has his back. The nephew of the cop Braden's father is accused of killing plays baseball at a neighboring school, and when the two teams face off everyone feels that there's much more than a game at stake.
Rave: This book is unflinching in its portrayal of abuse, which makes it a difficult read at times. The family dynamic is complex and the characters are far from perfect. I'm not a baseball fan, but this book made me care about the game. Religion, politics, sexuality, sports, race: this book sounds like the recipe for an awkward and contentious dinner conversation but somehow Gilbert pulls it all together into a fantastic and compelling novel.
Every book its reader: I'd give this to fans of baseball or contemporary fiction. It's pretty intense so I'd say 8th grade and up.
Topics and Trends: baseball, LGBTQ, police, religion
Source: kobo ebook
Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert: buy it or check it out today!