Friday, June 8, 2012

2012 in 5: Pat's Top Picks

Today Pat gives us her picks for what's been outstanding in 2012, so far! 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (see our full review here)
Well, not much to say about this book that hasn't been said except READ IT if you haven't. Yes, it's about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a boy whose cancer is in remission.  But it's really about life and how to live and it is an amazing book because John Green never, ever talks down to his teen readers--he respects you all too much for that.  And after you've finished wiping away the tears, head on over to John Green's TFIOS Tumblr for answers to questions about the book.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (see our full review here).
In a small Montana ranch town in the early 1990s, Cameron Post discovers what happens when you fall in love with the wrong person when she is sent to a special school that tries to "cure" gay kids like her.  This beautifully written, multidimensional coming of age story will open your eyes and your heart.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Ari Mendoza is fifteen-years-old and angry.  His brother in prison and no one in his family will talk about it. Dante Quintana is also fifteen and sees the world very differently from Ari--he's kind of a know-it-all with an usual way of looking at things.  But after meeting at the swimming pool, the two form an unlikely friendship that raises questions for both and ultimately changes their lives.

Boy21by Matthew Quick.
Basketball and space aliens don't seem to belong in the same book review, but that's just the way it has to be.  When Coach asks Finley to befriend Russ (who's supposed to be the greatest basketball player since Michael Jordan or something) and get him to join the basketball team, Finley has no idea what he's getting into. Yeah, something bad happened to Russ, but why does he call himself Boy21from space?  This book packs an emotional wallop and some great hoop action, as well.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
OK, so this is supposed to be a book for kids, which it is, but it's the one book I've read so far this year that I want to hand to anyone who is able to read.  It's the kind of book where age is irrelevant.  It's a book about who we are on the inside versus what we look like on the outside.  It's a book about fitting in.  About finding your place in the world.  Listen to fifth-grader Auggie Pullman who was born with an extreme facial deformity tell you about himself.

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