Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day : 1 Found Reviews

Well I did it again.  The end of the school year came and went.  I packed things up and took some things home and left some things I needed at school.  I finally started going through things I had brought home trying to organize it.  What did I find?  A bunch of book reviews I had written with the intention of typing them into my blog, then scheduling them to be published.  Did I do this?  Oh no, I was too busy writing, babysitting and unpacking things that I had left packed until school let out to go through school things.  I was going through and figuring out what I needed to get ready for school which starts in a little over a week for me when I came across a notebook at the bottom of a box. As I flipped through its pages I came upon several book reviews I forgot to type up and post.  It saddens me to think that the last week of school when we did so much reading and relaxing that I read and wrote these reviews then forgot to type them into my blog.  That's what happens when you procrastinate.  I remember writing a list and one of the things it said was type and post review.  How do I remember the list?  It was on the same page with the first  review.  So for the next couple of days I will post the reviews of books I had read at the end of May and first week of June.  The sad thing about forgetting this is that these first two books were two of my favorite reads of the year.

Code of Silence by Tim Shoemaker
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Pages: 348
Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
Source: Received a review copy in exchange for my honest review

Cooper, Hiro and Gordy are best friends who like to spend afternoons after school at their favorite handout Frank-N-Stein’s Restaurant.  One evening they decided to play one more arcade game while their friend, mentor and owner Frank locks up.  What happens next is the beginning of a nightmare.  The three friends are trapped in the restaurant and witness the robbery and beating of Frank.  When one of the robbers pulls and leaves the video that would incriminate them in the robbery, Cooper takes the opportunity to snatch it and escape.  The others get away and Cooper is caught and his house keys taken and he is left with a threat to his family.  He and his friends get away.  They make a pact to keep what they know silent.  They don’t know who they can trust because the robbers were dressed in police uniforms.  Unfortunately Cooper’s backpack left at the scene put the cops and the criminals on his trail.  His lies upon lies begin to catch up with him.  It strains his relationship with his parents, his friends and with his relationship with God.  This was one of those books that once you start you can’t put it down. The messages about doing the right thing, friendship, loyalty, honesty, lies and telling the truth can be found all through the book.  When I give my book talk about this book I’m going to ask my students up front if they believe it is ever okay to tell a lie and ask for examples.  Then I will introduce this book because people need to realize that just because you think it is okay to lie, there are consequences for each lie you tell.  This is a book I definitely recommend to my students and all adults who love to read a good mystery.

Back Before Dark – Tim Shoemaker
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Pages: 384
Genre: Mystery, Adventure
Source: Review Copy in exchange for my honest review

Cooper, Gordy, and Hiro along with Lunk are back for a second adventure in Tim Shoemaker’s second book Back Before Dark. The four teens are on their way home from a shopping trip when they spot a van with a backpack on top.  They promised they would be home before dark.  They weigh their options and decide they have time to play the role of Good Samaritan and still make it home on time.  Gordy takes off ahead of the group.  As he approaches the van the worse thing possible happens.  The side door opens and Gordy is grabbed.  His friends race to catch up.  Cooper gets the license plate number but gets it all mixed up.  Days go by.  Cooper can’t imagine being without his best friend and cousin Gordy.  He goes to school and sees a sign for a memorial to be held for Gordy.  This is really more than Cooper can stand and he decides if the police aren’t going to do anything then he will.  Their new friend Lunk supports Cooper in everything he does putting himself and his friends in danger.  This book is all about friendship and how far we will go for our friends.  There is also an underlying message of turning problems that are too big for you to handle over to God.  Cooper is like so many of us that tries to handle it first and then when all else fails turns it over to God.  Lunk is one of those who doesn’t understand why God would allow this to happen to good people.  Then we have the strong one of the bunch Hiro.  She is the one who constantly prays for her friends and the situations they get into.  She is the voice of reason in the darkness.  I can only home Tim Shoemaker keeps pumping these books out because I will keep putting them on my shelves at school and recommending them to everyone I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment