Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top 5 in 2011, so far: Maria's Famous Picks

 We're not the only ones who want to know what Maria's picks for top 5, so far are. Maria's picks are so respected that she's been on BOTH the Printz and the Newbery Award Committees. So listen up because here come Maria's favorites!

After ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Jeffrey Alper an eighth grader and brain cancer survivor is trying to lead a normal life.  He has a good friend, Tad, and now beautiful Lindsey has entered the picture. Jeffrey’s older brother Steve, Jeffrey’s go-to buddy, is in far away Africa.  Ordinary eighth grader’s problems ensue and author Sonnenblick definitely knows middle school boys for his voice is authentic- touching, funny, real.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Printz Award winner Libba Bray has done it yet again!  Beginning with the cover, the torso of a bikini clad teen, with a lipstick bandolero holder crisscrossing her midriff we know we are in for a good read.  When a plane full of contestants going to the Miss Teen Dream pageant crashes on a remote island we learn a lot about the few survivors.  Be ready to deal with reality and absurdity and have a blast doing it. 

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
This young adult historical fiction novel takes place in 1906 –New York City and follows sixteen-year-old Prudence as she begins to question her future as a young working-woman in a big city.  Prudence takes a job with the health department, where she helps track down the source of a typhoid outbreak, a healthy carrier known as Typhoid Mary.  Written as a series of journal entries, the story reveals her thoughts  regarding her brother’s death, her father’s disappearance during the Spanish-American War as well as her regard for an epidemiologist and a female doctor- rare during that time.  An absorbing read that portrays a strong young heroine as well as educates the reader on key public health matters.
The Chaos by Rachel Ward
The sequel to Numbers does not disappoint.  Adam, Jem and Spider’s son has inherited his mother’s gift, or curse.  When he looks into someone’s eyes he sees a number- the day that person will die.  He is sixteen now and the number he is seeing in most peoples’ eyes is the same – January 1, 2027 or in six months as the story begins.  This is an exciting page turner that will keep you at the edge of your seat.  Chaos stand on its own, although it becomes a richer story if you have read Numbers.

Smart high school senior Vera Dietz has all the challenges of a senior and on top of that she works 40 hours as a pizza delivery girl.  She has loved Charlie Kahn since they were best friends in childhood.  Now Charlie has betrayed her, he has died a mysterious death.  Will Vera care enough to keep his secret still? Vera has a strong believable teen voice, edgy, funny unique.  An unforgettable read.

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