Newly Donated Fiction November 2, 2011 Reviews by amazon.ca
Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah • Grade 7 Up—Australian 11th-grader Amal is smart, funny, outspoken, a good student, and a loyal friend. She is also a devout Muslim who decides to wear the hijab, or head covering, full-time. The story tells of her emotional and spiritual journey as she copes with a mad crush on a boy, befriends an elderly Greek neighbor, and tries to help a friend who aspires to be a lawyer but whose well-intentioned mother is trying to force her to leave school and get married. Amal is also battling the misconceptions of non-Muslims about her religion and culture. (School Library Journal) • Australian Book Industry Awards 2006 - Australian Book of the Year for Older Children
The Long Night of Leo and Bree by Ellen Wittlinger • Leo marks the fourth anniversary of his sister's murder by her abusive boyfriend. After a violent fight with his alcoholic mother, Leo goes for a drive. Seeing scantily clad Bree, who's come from the neighboring rich town to find a bar and play pool, Leo decides she was "the one who was supposed to die," not his "nice girl" sister. He kidnaps Bree, blindfolds her and takes her to the basement below his apartment. Bree jabbers about her life, thinking if she becomes real to him, he won't kill her. As the night wears on, he finally opens up, too, and she realizes, "When you make yourself real to somebody, they become real to you too."
Freak by Marcella Pixley • For Miriam Fisher, a budding poet who reads the Oxford English Dictionary for fun, seventh grade is a year etched in her memory "clear as pain." That's the year her older sister, Deborah, once her best buddy and fellow "alien," bloomed like a beautiful flower and joined the high school in-crowd. That's the year high school senior Artie Rosenberg, the "hottest guy in the drama club" and, Miriam thinks, her soul mate, comes to live with Miriam's family. And that's the year the popular girls turn up the heat in their cruel harassment of Miriam-- ripping her life wide open in shocking, unexpected ways.
How to Be a Hero on Earth by Rob Payne • Canadian John Fitzgerald is less than thrilled when his eccentric father sends him to England to spend his summer with relatives he's never met. Then on his way over his plane takes a wrong, and quite disturbing, turn over the Atlantic and drops into a parallel universe-Earth 5-where things are not quite the same: days have fifteen hours, distortion waves warp his brain, and a nefarious government agency decides that inter-dimensional visitors must be eliminated at all costs.
Grist by Heather Waldorf • Sixteen-year-old aspiring writer Charlie faces a bleak summer in Springdale, Canada. Her widowed father is increasingly preoccupied with his new girlfriend. Her best friend and crush, Sam, has moved to Australia. And she has fallen out of favor with her beloved creative-writing teacher, who challenges her to gather the grist of life experiences as fuel for her writing. So she heads for her grandmother's cottage in remote Lake Ringrose, Ontario, hoping to reconnect with the memory of her mother. Despite Gram's warnings, Charlie is drawn to reformed bad boy Kerry, and the two quickly bond. • Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007White Pine Honour Book, 2008Evergreen Teen Book Award Nominee, 2009
Feral by Bev Cooke • She lives in fear—of the two-legs, of the noisy, massive trains that scream in and out of the station, of cats and rats and dogs and the dark of the tunnels. She lives in the subway, where the hard shoes kick her ribs, where shrill voices beat her ears, where she subsists on the garbage of the humans. But the little cat walks alone.Until she meets Candlewax, a street kid exiled from the subway tunnels, and Katherine, a student photographer who loves her on sight. From these two she learns that trust can banish fear and love provides a home wherever you are.
Blue Flame by K.M. Grant • Many years have passed since the Occitanian knights killed Richard the Lionheart in a courageous battle to keep the Blue Flame--sparked at the moment of Christ’s death--from falling into the wrong hands. Now it is in danger once again, as enemies from the north draw near. In the midst of this looming battle, lifelong friends Raimon, son of a Cathar weaver, and Yolanda, daughter of a Catholic Count, are falling in love. But a new religious crusade is about to begin, setting boy against girl, family against family, neighbor against neighbor, south against north. Though many seek to possess the Blue Flame, only one person is destined to wield its power to save the people and the sovereignty of the Occitan.
Fault Line by Janet Tashjian • Seventeen-year-old Becky Martin dreams of being a stand-up comic. She also craves the affection of a boyfriend. When attractive Kip, a rising star in the San Francisco comedy club scene, comes into Becky's life, she thinks she's found her soul mate. But she soon discovers that Kip has a dark side, and control and jealousy appear to be the price she must pay for his love. Will Becky find the strength and courage to get help?
Razzle by Ellen Wittlinger • Quiet Kenyon Baker is a little disgruntled. Always a good kid, Ken has never given his elderly parents much trouble. But now they have retired to Cape Cod and bought an old set of beachfront rental cabins, and suddenly, they're paying more attention to Ken than ever before--especially when it comes to cleaning, painting, and repairing. He just wants to be left alone to work on his one passion--photography. Then he meets Razzle Penney, the teen caretaker of the town dump. Razzle challenges and inspires him with her blunt manner and junkyard art. But his blossoming friendship with her is put on hold when Ken catches the eye of beautiful, dangerous Harley, Razzle's sworn enemy.
Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist • Phil Hastings was a lucky man. He had money, a growing reputation as a screenwriter, a happy, loving family with three kids, and the house of his dreams in rural upstate New York. But then came the Magic, the Bad Thing, the Faerie, and the Fool--and the resurrection of a primordial war that the whole human race could lose. The three Hastings children are soon caught up in a love-hate relationship with Celtic creatures of mythology that inhabit the dark and mysterious wood.
Lightning and Blackberries by Joanne K. Jefferson • Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Evans is the privileged and naïve only child of prominent New Englanders, part of a group of Planters who settled in Nova Scotia following the deportation of the Acadian people. As a teenager, she is leading a carefree life in the Annapolis Valley, tending to her cows on the family farm, daydreaming by the brook, and resisting her mother’s attempts to refine her manners and marry her off. She thinks nothing will ever change. But a stranger’s arrival at Evans Hall, and a chance meeting with a mysterious Acadian girl in the woods nearby turn Elizabeth’s carefree life upside down. And when she learns the truth about the history of the farm she loves so well, she knows nothing will ever be the same.
Avielle of Rhia by Dia Calhoun • Princess Avielle of Rhia resembles her Dredonian great-great grandmother who practiced evil magic, so everyone in Rhia expects Avielle to turn evil, too. Shunned by those around her, she feels unloved and unable to love others. Rhia is on the verge of war with Dredonia, which suffers under the rule of evil wizard-priests: the Brethren of the Black Cloaks. One terrible night, the Brethren attack, killing the royal family and hundreds of others. Only Avielle escapes. She must keep her identity secret to avoid death from the enemy. While hiding among the common people, she learns that she has a magical gift for weaving. But will this gift, rooted in her Dredonian blood, lead Avielle to the same evil that possessed her great-great grandmother? Or will it help her free her people from further attacks?
The One-Armed Queen by Jane Yolen • In the twilight of a lost age of high mages, the great warrior Queen called White Jenna found a frail, one-armed child on the field of battle. In the way of the Hames of the Dales, she adopted the child, named her Scillia, and made the girl her heir, destined to rule as Queen at Jenna's passing. But Jenna's natural son Jem, younger than Scillia, has been raised in the kingdom of their enemies as a hostage and foster son. He had been taught to resent his foster sister's power and covet the throne for himself and his Garun masters, unleashing a terrible time of bloodshed and betrayal.
The Serpent’s Children by Laurence Yep • Set in early 19th century China, this is the story of eight-year-old Cassia Young and her family as they struggle against famine, violence, and the disapproval of other clan members. Her parent's life work has been their involvement in "The Brotherhood" whose goal is to drive foreign invaders from their country. Father, a skilled soldier, hopes that his only son, Foxfire, will carry on this mission and relentlessly drills the boy in proper fighting technique. But Foxfire, a dreamer who consistently fails to meet his father's expectations, ultimately flees China for the chance to succeed in the land of the "Golden Mountain" across the sea.
Car Trouble by Jeanna DuPrau • Duff Pringle has bought his first car. (Used.) He's got six days to drive 3,000 miles cross-country to California and start a new hi-tech job that will make him wealthy. (Sort of.) Nothing can stop him. (Or can it?) Uh-oh . . . CAR TROUBLE. Duff's Ford Escort barely makes it a hundred miles from home before breaking down. What's he supposed to do? He's promised his new boss he'll be there by Monday. But he's also promised himself that he'll make this journey by car, so he can really see the country. Using his laptop and some quick thinking, he pieces together a way to continue his trip. What he doesn't plan on are the people he meets along the road.
The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli • A midwife-cum-sorceress known simply as the Ugly One narrates this riveting tale of how, tricked by the devil's minions, she lost her gifts for healing and was forced to become a witch. Escaping from the stake, where she is about to be burned, she ekes out a solitary existence in an enchanted forest--until she takes in two wandering children named Hansel and Gretel.