The library will be closed during the day on Monday the 25th, Tuesday the 26th, and Wednesday the 27th of October.
Archive for October, 2010
Halam, A. (2003). Dr. Franklin’s Island. NY: Dell. 224 pages.
Science and technology is expanding and developing all the time. Scientists have cloned sheep and dogs, and have genetically engineered tomatoes to spoil less quickly. But what happens if a scientist takes his work too far? What if he goes beyond working on vegetables and plants and starts to experiment on human beings? Dr. Franklin is a so-called mad scientist who dreams of changing people into animals and back again. He needs some subjects to perform experiments on – and conveniently, Semi and two other survivors of a plane crash have just landed on the shore of his island. Semirah Garson (Semi) is an average high school student with an affinity for science. When she wins the opportunity to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for a chance to study the environment, she takes it. Along with 49 other students, she finds herself catapulted into a nightmare as their plane crashes into the ocean. It is apparent that Semi and two other students are the only survivors. They swim to a seemingly deserted island, but soon learn they are not alone. They stumble upon Dr. Franklin’s obscene zoo, where they are quickly taken prisoners. Semi and her companions are forced to undergo Franklin’s genetic engineering experiments and must fight for their human lives. I like this book for both boys and girls – there is a great mixture of human emotion and life contemplation along with action and adventure. There are great, grimy details like “the girl who waved” and the animals with various human parts.
Updale, E. (2003). Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? NY: Scholastic. 233 pages.
After being released from jail, prisoner 493 takes on two identities: Montmorency – by day – an upper-class gentleman who stays in a hotel and attends the opera, and Scarper – by night – a cunning thief who uses the newly installed sewer system under London to disappear quickly after he commits lucrative robberies. The story, the first in a series, is brilliantly written with a double characterization of the same physical person. Scarper is a static character who is sheisty throughout the novel, while Montmorency transforms by giving back some of the things that he took from people – not so much material things, as those have been sold, but sentimental items. Although this is the only book I have read of the series, the rest are definitely in my TBR pile. The thing I really like about this book is that it is appealing to both boys and girls. The cover art is really cool/scary looking.
Prose, F. (2008). Goldengrove: A Novel. [Electronic Resource]. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, LLC. Narrated by Mamie Gummer.
This novel, technically considered an adult novel, might hold some appeal for YA readers. The author, Francine Prose, has written YA novels in the past, and the main character is thirteen-year-old Nico. The setting is a lake house in Vermont (maybe New Hampshire? I listened to this on a Playaway, so I missed some of the details), and the story really gets going when Nico’s older sister (and role model) Margaret drowns in the lake. Nico, confused and upset by Margaret’s death, secretly befriends Aaron, who was Margaret’s boyfriend at the time of her death. They spend the summer together, as Nico comes to terms with what has happened to her sister, and how her life is directly affected. There are a few sexual situations, but I think the book missed the YA boat because of the complex relationships that Nico has with Aaron, her parents, and the family friend Elaine.