The Book Reviews – Website

January 17, 2009

You Don’t Know Me

Filed under: Y — thebookreviews @ 8:46 pm
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You Don’t Know Me

Author: David Klass

Page Length: 344

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: The reader has the unique opportunity to get to know 14 year old John. Reading this book is like being inside John’s head – he shares his every thought about everything from playing the tuba, to being harassed by teachers, to admiring Glory Hallelujah from across the room. John claims that no one really knows him – after all he doesn’t even know himself. Throw in a manipulative girl, an abusive step father, a mother who is trying to make ends meet, and a band director who might know too much and life couldn’t get much more complicated.

REVIEW: I found this novel interesting and insightful. Who doesn’t want to understand teenagers (teenage boys) better? This book is a great look (fictional but realistically so) inside the mind of a teenage boy. I would recommend this book for parents and teachers – just to understand the perspective. It’s very powerful – the reader feels the fear of the step father with John. We also understand his cynicism about the world. The book is also humorous (outrunning an angry father)…

AREAS FOR TEACHING: cause and effect, character analysis, sequence, use of dialogue (internal and external), elements of plot, suspense

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: abuse, theft, violence

RELATED BOOKS: Dark Angel, Home of the Brave, Wrestling With Honor, Danger Zone, The Caretaker Trilogy

MOVIE, MUSIC, ART CONNECTIONS: “Radio Flyer”

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/0374387060.asp

http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/21174/David_Klass/index.aspx

http://www.childabuse.com/

http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.shtml

REVIEWED BY:  Dayna Taylor

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August 10, 2008

Home Invasion

Filed under: H — thebookreviews @ 10:04 pm
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Home Invasion

Author: Monique Polak    

Page Length: 105

Reading Level: 4

Genre: Fiction        

PLOT SUMMARY:  The story opens the summer before Josh, the narrator enters 10th grade.  He introduces the reader to his mom and her new husband, Clay, an artistic type.  They live in the city of Montreal, where there have been several “home invasions” where people have been robbed.

Josh’s granddad has a heart attack, so his mom has to go to his home and care for him, leaving Josh and Clay, home—alone.  Neither of the males is crazy about this situation; they both love Josh’s mom, but are not fond of each other.   Clay surprises Josh, by paying for him to go to basketball camp so that he can have time to work on his art.

Josh meets the new neighbors down the street, the Levesques, who have a daughter, Patsy, also entering 10th grade.  Josh finds himself in more than one situation, where he has entered the Levesque home, uninvited and goes into hiding.  He experiences an enter thrill and feels he might relate to the “home invaders.”  Although he doesn’t rob the new neighbors, he does overhear some confidential conversations.

The story continues with basketball camp, Clay, more “home invasions” by Josh, and the real home invaders and a blossoming relationship between Patsy and Josh.

REVIEW:  This book is an easy book to read. It seemed the author put too many subplots in the story for the reader to focus on the main idea.  I would not suggest the book for a high school student.  It would serve as a quick read for a junior high student.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: Sequence of Events, Supporting Details

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES:  Sexual references, p. 1-2 and some profanity, but not offensive.

RELATED BOOKS: No More Pranks, Blue Moon, Bull Rider

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://moniquepolak.com

www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-141167808.html

www.orcabook.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=232

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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