There are many familiar faces on the list this week. Word of mouth and peer recommendations go far in our school, and these are some of our students' favs!The Name of This Book is Secret
, by Psuedonymous BoschThe Falcon's Malteser
, by Anthony HorowitzStanford Wong Flunks Big Time,
by Lisa YeePeter and the Shadow Thieves
, by Dave Barry & Ridley PearsonTMBS and the Prisoner's Dilemma
, by Trenton Lee Stewart
Our Featured Title this week is Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, and in her post, Thalia describes "the frustratingly beautiful ache" of the puzzle of putting words in verse, poetic vignettes, together to tell a story.
Have you ever tried to write in verse or gotten lost a book of poems? Why is the format appealing? What about it makes it such an attractive way to express emotions?
The rgz Street Team is a group of teens who bring YA reviews to our blog, led by Postergirl Miss Erin. Find out more.
Today, Sarah reviews last week's featured title, Positively by Courtney Sheinmel:
"When I got sick the first thing that they tested me for was HIV, and I was so afraid that I got it somehow. I didn't have it, but my disease is caused by the immune system. Even though our diseases are very different, I could totally relate to [Positively
's main character] Emmy. I know that if I have 100% lung function by the time I am 40 or if my liver doesn't stop from the pills, I am lucky, and Emmy is faced with that too in other ways. There are days that I want to just throw my pills out or not get shots anymore, but I know that decision is a choice between life and death. When I first got sick, I went to a camp for teens with Primary Immunodeficiency and it was similar to what Emmy experienced at Camp Positive. Some of the friends from that time are dead, but they are far from forgotten. The part about the balloons really got to me, because that it what we do every year on my sister's birthday.
"The plot is real, because you are constantly reminded how hard life can be for some people. This book is really original, because it leaves you with so much hope. Shienmel is a fantastic writer. I loved that this is based by her experience from with working The Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation and is really accurate and realistic. I highly suggest that you read this book, it is a story of a girl with so much strength." --Sarah
Markéta Irglová spoke of hope when she and Glen Hansard the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Falling Slowly, which I put on this month's playlist. Here's what she said:
"Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much who helped us on the way. Thank you." - Markéta Irglová
Isn't that lovely?
Now, consider this: Her initial acceptance speech had been cut off by a music cue! Glen gave his speech, but when Markéta walked up to the mic, the orchestra started to play, cutting her off. Thanks to host Jon Stewart, Markéta was able to come back on stage and have her moment. That is when she gave the speech as quoted above.
Click here to watch the award announcement and subsequent speeches.
Our Featured Title this week is Positively by Courtney Sheinmel, and in her post, she talked about how her hopes for people living with HIV have grown and grown.
One powerful aspect of Courtney's book about 13-year-old Emmy, who's HIV-positive, is that it gives us a character who represents that experience. And isn't there always hope in finding a story that you can relate to?
So tell us, readergirlz, what people in your life, or books that you've read, have given you hope because you felt that they understood
or spoke to what you were going through?
PS-Don't forget to read the Cover Story
behind Courtney's gorgeous novel.