Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lord Loss - Demonata Book One

Here is a great book for older readers. If you are looking for a title to capture a 15+ student, then here is one you should consider. I feel it would be perfect for summer reading.

It is somewhat intense and scary in places. Keep that in mind.

~ * ~

Lord Loss by Darren Shan



Genre – horror, thriller, paranormal

 

Number of pages – 244

 

Is this book part of a series? – Yes. this is book one and there are ten books in the series.

 

Publication date – October 2005

 

Publisher - Little Brown Books for Young Readers

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – eBook, Paperback, Library Binding, Audio CD

 

Target age of reader - 15 and older

 

Reading level -  This book is not listed on Lexile.com. Most of Shan's titles fall between 650L and 800L. I feel this one would as well - My guess is in the 700s.

 

Description - (from Goodreads)
 
Grubbs Grady has stiff red hair and is a little big for his age, which means he can get into R-rated movies. He hates history and loves bacon, rats, and playing tricks on his squeamish older sister. When he opts out of a family weekend trip, he never guesses that he is about to take a terrifying journey into darkness. Hungry demons and howling werewolves haunt his waking nightmares... and threaten his life.

 

Themes of the book – Traumatic experiences, mental illness, demons, ghosts, monsters, werewolves, family, forming new friends, fighting for your family and friends.

 

Main character is – Grubb, about 15 or 16 year old boy

 

The story takes place in - a small town in England, Carcery Vale

 

Overall rating of this book  PG 13+ - Best left for readers 15 and older

 I'm going to label this an intense read - but I recommend it for older, mature readers. Shan is a wonderful author.

 
** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity – bloody hell, ass - a handful of times

 

Sexual references or actions – talk of kissing, girls, one night stands, affairs, being attracted to a woman. Nothing described or over the top.

 

Violence – Yes - this is a book about demons, witchcraft, rituals, family being brutally murdered (yuck, some of the scenes were quite gross). Occult, animal deaths, etc. The monsters are icky and creepy.
 
(It sounds over the top - I loved it.)

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – smoking, a mental patient is taking and addicted to drugs

 

Religious themes - Demon, hints of Satan

 

Character types - Humans, werewolves, beasts, creatures of death

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

This is not a good book for sensitive readers.
Great book for older readers who are looking for something different, edgy.

Is this a good title for book reports?

    Not really. I feel this title is best left for summer reading - or the times when you need a book just for pleasure. Since this is a series, you may hook the reader into book after book.

This is also a paranormal title without all the lovely, dovey romance. Boys will enjoy it.
 

~ * ~
 
Thanks for stopping!!
 
~ Jenna

 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Slob

Hello followers! Sorry for the delay in posts. Life got in the way.

Remember to Watch Out for Spoilers! This blog lists the content of books so each posts contains spoilers!

~ * ~

Slob by Ellen Potter



Genre – drama, middle school

 

Number of pages – 208

 

Is this book part of a series? – No

 

Publication date – May 2009

 

Publisher - Penguin Group

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – eBook, Hardcover, and Paperback

 

Target age of reader - 12 and up

 

Reading level -  HL740L
 
** this book is listed as a High-Low book and I'm not sure why. The themes were not that intense. I'd say a plain Lexile Measurement of 740L is appropriate. See my content details below.

 

Description -
 
Twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school. But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions like a TV that shows the past. Something happened two years ago that he needs to see. But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like his gym coach, who's on a mission to humiliate him. Or the way his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. He's sure that if he can only get the TV to work, things will start to make sense. But it will take a revelation for Owen, not science, to see the answers not in the past, but the present. That no matter how large he is on the outside, he doesn't have to feel small on the inside.

 

Themes of the book –
 
Accepting others, bullying, obesity, middle school, mean teachers, inventions, friends, mother/son relationships, dieting, being overweight, Students who have medical issues, dealing with traumatic experiences, death, fighting back, fighting for what you believe in, being brave, sticking up for yourself and others.

 

Main character is – Owen, a 12-year-old boy

 

The story takes place in - New York City

 

Overall rating of this book  Between PG and PG 13

 

** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity – None - Owen comments that another boy said "a really bad curse word"

 

Sexual references or actions – None - Owen's sister is a member of GWAB "girls who are boys" but the idea and reason for this isn't explored or explained. There are no transgender aspects. This group of girls is teased once in the book and called lesbians, but just briefly and in passing. Strange - not sure why Potter put this in the book but left it so vague.

 ** Spoilers ahead!

Violence – bullying, a teacher humiliating a student on a couple of occasions, fear of being bullied or teased, a described/flashback robbery scene - gunshots, blood, deaths. Mild to moderate intensity.

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – One adult character smokes

 

Religious themes - One character is a practicing Buddhist and some beliefs are discussed.

 

Character types - All human

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

 - the scenes with the teacher humiliating the student could be tough for sensitive readers.
 - At the end of the story we learn that Owen's parents were killed in a horrible manner.
 

Is this a good title for book reports?

Yes - I feel even though this book covers some tough topics, it is not overly sad or brutal.
 
There will be lots of items to discuss - what would you do? students with medical issues, dealing with siblings at school, weight issues, etc.
 
Owen is a fantastic main character. The writing is witty and moves quickly. The story opens with a splash and will capture young readers. It will appeal to both boys and girls.

 

You can read my review of this story by clicking here. That link will bring you to Amazon.

 
~ * ~


Have you read this title? Did one of your students pick it up for a book report? What are your thoughts?

This is another book on bullying - a passing trend or do you feel it's here to stay?

Please leave your comments below.


Thanks for stopping!

~ Jenna
 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mockingbird

In another post I told you about the book, Freaks Like Us and labelled it an intense read. That story is told from the perspective of a teen with a disability. If you are interested in books like this but want something a little less intense, then I suggest Mockingbird.

The main character is Caitlyn. She has Asperger's and is dealing with some difficult situations.



Mockingbird

Author - Kathryn Erskine

Number of Pages - 235 pages (it really seems much less than that due to wide margins, blank page breaks, etc)

Description -

Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure- and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be black and white after all.

Available through - Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Reading level - 630L

** spoilers ahead **

Rating - This is a tough one. While it doesn't have outward violence or profanity, the subject matter is a little serious: a school shooting and death of family members. These situations happened prior to the story beginning, but the book is about how the characters deal with these events. I'd give it a score of PG.


***

You can find all the detail of this book HERE. I have about five or six books listed and detailed on another blog. These are old posts that I want to share with you.
 
I really enjoyed Mockingbird. I think it would be great for an entire 5th or 6th grade classroom to read. There is a lot to talk about. See my notes on the other blog regarding content.

~ * ~

Thanks for stopping!!

~ Jenna

The Book Snoop is a book blog that lists the content of young adult and middle grade books. I will indicate if a title has profanity, violence, sexual references, etc. I do this to help teachers, parents, and librarians make reading choices for young readers.

My goal is to inform, not to censor. All types of books will be read - intense to G rated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1)

Young readers like paranormal books. Most are geared toward girls and contain a lot of romance and angst. This book does not. Boys will like it too.




Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1)


 
Author – Heather Brewer

 

Genre –  paranormal, middle grade, adventure

 

Number of pages – 182

 

Is this book part of a series? – Yes. There are five or six books in this series with an additional spin off series.

 

Publication date – August 2007

 

Publisher - Scholastic

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – ebook, hardcover, paperback, and audio CD

 

Target age of reader - 12 and up

 

Reading level -  780L
 
To learn more about Lexile Measurements, click HERE

 

Description - Vlad has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school.
 
Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer.

 

Themes of the book – Friends, family, fitting in, what makes us who we are, family history,

 

Main character is – Vladimir Tod a human/vampire

 

The story takes place in - Bathory, a made up town ?

 

Overall rating of this book  –  G to PG

 

** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity – None

 

Sexual references or actions – talk of kissing and hickies

 

Violence –  bullying, scaring young kids at night, vampires biting others, blood, a few people die. Nothing too descriptive or over the top.

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – None

 

Religious themes - None

 

Character types - Humans, vampires, talk of werewolves

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

It's a vampire book so people are attacked and some die.
I felt the scary bits were light.


Will this book be good for book reports?

      I'm not sure. This title may be best used for summer reading. If it hooks a student, great, there are many more titles in the series waiting to be read.
 
~ * ~
 
The reviews on this book are mixed. You can read them and decide for yourself.
 
~ Jenna

 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Summer I Learned to Fly

I feel this title is a hidden gem. Girls will love it. It tackles some serious topics but isn't overly sad or heart wrenching.


 

 
 

Author – Dana Reinhardt

 

Genre – Families, Friendship, Social situations

 

Number of pages – 224

 

Is this book part of a series? – No

 

Publication date – July 2011

 

Publisher - Wendy Lamb Books

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – hardcover, library binding, paperback, ebook, audio CD

 

Target age of reader - 10 or 12 and up

 

Reading level -  750L

 

Description -  Drew's a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad's Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom's cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It's the summer before eighth grade and Drew's days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he's there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

 

Themes of the book – friendship, dealing with difficult situations, making friends, being lonely, healing, Native American legends, taking chances, miracles, mother/daughter relationships

 

Main character is – female, Drew/Robin age 13

 

The story takes place in - California

 

Overall rating of this book  – G rated.

 

** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity – none

 

Sexual references or actions – none

 

Violence – none

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – none

 

Religious themes - mild references to Native American spirituality

 

Character types - all human

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

 There is one touching scene involving a family pet that may be tough for some sensitive readers.
 
An accident involving a close friend



Is this a good title for book reports?

 Yes - I especially feel this would be good for advanced readers. Teachers looking for clean titles for their young students, here you go.

 

You can read my review of this story by clicking here – The Summer I Learned to Fly. That link will bring you to Amazon.

 
~ * ~


~ Jenna

Thanks for stopping! Are you a teacher with a Pinterest account? I'd love for you to share this site on your 'teaching resources' board. Others will thank you. A good page to Pin is my About This Blog page.

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pale

Thank you for stopping by The Book Snoop. This isn't a book review site. It is a site that lists the content of teen and young adult titles.

Look around. I hope you find it helpful.

~ Jenna


Pale

 
 

Author – Chris Wooding

 

Genre – Action, Dystopian,

 

Number of pages – 67

 

Is this book part of a series? – No

 

Publication date – September 2012

 

Publisher - Stoke Books

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – ebook, paperback, library binding

 

Target age of reader - 13 or 14 and up

 

Reading level -  not available at this time. If I had to guess I'd say it has a Lexile measurement in the 4 or 500s.

 

Description - The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead - but when you come back you've changed - you're a Pale, an outcast. It's the last thing Jed wants, but an accident changes everything and Jed's forced to discover the true cost of living forever.

 

Themes of the book – choices, families, life and death, cheating death, cultures, what makes us different, racism, illness

 

Main Character is – Jed, a boy in high school.


 

Overall rating of this book  –  PG

 

** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity – 'God' but nothing else

 

Sexual references or actions – None

 

Violence – Two fight scenes that are somewhat detailed.

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – None

 

Religious themes - None, but a reader could discuss the concept of man acting as God.

 

Character types - All human.... zombies? You'll have to decide for yourself.

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

There is a fair amount of negativity in this story
People hating other 'races'
 

Is this a good title for book reports?

    Absolutely. If you have a reluctant reader who needs a quick book for a book report, then this is it. There will be many questions raised and topics to talk about.
 

 ~ * ~

You can read customer reviews of this story by clicking here – Pale.  
 
If you need other high low books for high school aged readers I suggest the following titles: (these links will bring you to Amazon US.)
 
Burger Wuss - Lexile = 420L
Break - HL470L
Annexed - HL470L

I feel boys may particularly like those titles.
 
Thanks for stopping everyone!
 
Happy reading!
 
~ Jenna

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Tinfoil Sky

Thanks for stopping. This book is one of my Top Picks.



 

Author – Cyndi Sand-Eveland

 

Genre – family drama, social situations

 

Number of pages – 225

 

Is this book part of a series? – No

 

Publication date – January 2012

 

Publisher - Tundra Books

 

Links to Amazon US



 

Formats available – Hardcover and ebook

 

Target age of reader - 10 and up

 

Reading level -  Not available at this time

 

Description -  Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in the apartment of an abusive man.When Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s, Mel dreams of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems beyond her grasp. Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt is about to change that.

Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful, can’t-putit- down novel.

 

Themes of the book – homelessness, belonging, finding your place, poverty, survival, accepting others, having others accept you, homeless shelters, mother daughter relationships, and making decisions for a better life.

 

Main character is – female, Mel

 

The story takes place in - Riverview, a made up town

 

Overall rating of this book  –  G to PG due to the subject matter

 

** Spoiler Alert **

 

~ Content ~

 

Language, profanity, cussing – None

 

Sexual references or actions – None

 

Violence – The description mentions an abusive man, but this was mentioned in passing and only as a suggestion or hint. There is talk of Mel fearing him, but I thought this was minimal.

 

Drugs, alcohol, etc – talk of a parent having a substance abuse problem - briefly mentioned or hinted at.

 

Religious themes - None

 

Character types - all human

 

Heads up for sensitive readers:

Some readers may find this book sad. 
A grandmother is quite mean to her grand daughter
Homeless scenes are sad
Mel fears her mom's boyfriend. even though the events are not described, the fear is there.
 

Is this a good title for book reports?  Definitely! a wonderful story that teachers need to discover.

 

You can read my review of this story by clicking here – A Tinfoil Sky. That link will bring you to Amazon.

 
~ * ~



~ Jenna
The Book Snoop
Showing teachers, librarians, and parents the content of teen and tween titles.