Here are a few of the book reviews my students in Young Adult Lit have written this trimester **I was given permission by the students to post these on my blog**
Luna by Julia Anne Peters (Written by Gabby)
Luna is a novel that is the perfect bridge for anyone looking into reading L.G.B.T literature. Liam is the focus of the story and he struggles to transition to a woman. The story however is told by Regan the completely normal sister of Liam. With no acceptance at home Liam is forced to adopt his other self only at night. He names his female self Luna because she can only be seen at night. Unlikely as it may seem she joins in helping him discover his true self. Because of this they are trapped together in the secret that confines them both.
Teens will enjoy this book because of the close relationship between Liam and Regan and seeing an L.G.B.T novel told through a perspective they can relate to. Personally I thought the prespective she took using the “normal” sister was an interesting twist and helped the auidence understand not only how it affect the L.G.B.T person but their family as well. I also like that it showed that there was some progression to Liam transitioning. I found that to be a positive considering that isn’t something that someone picks up overnight. People always say it is a choice and it isn’t it is simply who you are. If you have ever been curious about an L.G.B.T fiction novel I highly recommend Luna.
1984 by George Orwell (Written by Zach T.)
We all have an innate desire to be an individual, but what happens when being an individual is no longer accepted? What happens when speaking your mind is no longer an option? What happens when thinking is no longer a privilege? Welcome to Oceana, welcome to industrialized communist paradise, welcome to Big Brother’s creation.
Winston finds himself here, but he faintly recalls a past where freedom was an option. Although he can’t remember precisely, he knows that at one point in time man used to be free to do, say, and think whatever he desired and not find himself in the Ministry of Love for doing so. So he writes to himself to release these forbidden thoughts, but writing soon evolves into an affair, and an affair into prosperity and hope, and hope transition into suffering.
We all have an innate resistance to conformity, but what happens when conformity is the only option? 1984 can tell you what, and for anyone who has ever questioned those in power, anyone who doesn’t stand for mistreatment, anyone who has had a free thought, read this book. Read this book and you will hesitate before you practice your free will. By the way, 2+2 is in fact 5.
Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott (Written by Lori)
Danielle has known no other life other than the one she was born in to, a life of theft. She and her mother never stay in a place long enough to make real relationships with other people and Danielle is staring to question this life of constant lies and stealing silver. She accidentally makes a friend and that’s something she’s never had. When the time comes to steal again, Danielle has never felt worse about it, she begins to question her loyalty to her mother and the only life she’s known. She’s lied to her mother repeatedly since they’ve arrived in Heaven, befriended a cop, and told him her real name. None of which her mother would approve of, in fact, quite the opposite. Danielle is eighteen now and it’s time to decide if she wants a normal life, or one full of stealing and deception.
Stealing Heaven was a humorous yet serious book. The personalities of the characters are huge. Greg (my favorite character) is not only a great man, he’s funny and corny, and it totally works for him! Several of the conversations between him and Danielle made me laugh out loud. Though, Danielle’s mother I absolutely could not stand. I can’t imagine why a mother would want a life like this for her daughter. I didn’t really know what to expect with this book. It wasn’t really a twist ending, but the book didn’t go the way I expected it to. I think that Stealing Heaven would be appropriate for all teens and even upper middle school students. There are a few mature parts, but nothing that was too graphic or inappropriate. Overall, it was an easy and simply delightful read.