Monday, December 31, 2012

Storm Mountain is an adventure story of two teen cousins, Cat and Ty.  Ty is spontaneous and irrepressible, likely to make poorly-thought-out decisions.  Cat is quiet and introspective, and like her late father has a great love for mountain climbing.  After Cat is ttricked into spreading the ashes of their late fathers from the summit of the same treacherous mountain that claimed both their lives, Cat and Ty find themselves trapped in a dangerous storm.  Now Cat must put all of her mountaineering knowledge to work if she and Ty are to survive on Storm Mountain.

To view iew a video book trailer of Storm Mountain and listen to author Tom Birdseye read excerpts for this Golden Sower nominated book, click here.
Or, to learn more about the author and read a few paragraphs of his book, click here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I'd Tell You I Love but then I'd Have to Kill You

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, but is the school really isn't what it seems to be from the outside? This school is a typical all-girls-school, if they all taught martial arts, how to kill a man in 7 different ways, and if you got extra credit for breaking a CIA code in computer class. This school might claim to be for genius young girls, but it's really for elite young spies. Cammie is confident she can handle any situation life throws at her, but the one thing she isn't prepared for is a boy. Not just any boy though, but an ordinary boy who thinks she is an ordinary girl. Although Cammie has had some intense training for all types of circumstances out in the field, the one thing she needs the most help understanding is something she has to figure out all on her own: love and boys.
Cammie Morgan may be in a school for elite spies, but in her sophomore year she is on her most dangerous mission yet- falling in love.                Submitted by Maddy L.

Click Here to view a video book trailer.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

 Peter Freidman loves baseball.  So does his best friend A.J.  They have been each others pitcher and catcher since they started playing the game.  That all changes before their freshman year in high school when Peter injures his throwing arm and is informed that he will never be able to pitch again.  To make matters worse, his grandfather - with whom he is very close - begins to exhibit early signs of Alzheimer's Disease.  Oh yes, and did I mention that he just cannot seem to figure out girls?  Especially Angelika, this amazingly cute girl in his photography class.  This will be a good read for those who like realistic fiction.

This book was nominated for the 2014-2015 Golden Sower Award.

Click here to view a video book trailer of Curveball:  The Year I Lost My Grip.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shift by Jennifer Bradley

This book will find its way onto our young adult shelves, and is a great choice for mystery readers.   Best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating.  Each friend grows stronger and more determined as the trip progresses, finding untapped inner strength and perseverance.  But toward the end of their trip, Win disappears.  When the FBI gets involved, Chris finds himself to be the main suspect in Win's disappearance.  With no answers for the FBI's questions, Chris sets off to find his friend who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth and left no clues behind.  Shift is really two stories within a story.  The first is about friendship, adventure, and finding oneself.  The second, about solving a mysterious disappearance and then about making the decision to do the right thing.  No book trailer yet, stay tuned...

Legend by Marie Lu

Better than Hunger Games?  Some have described Legend by Marie Lu as just that.  Legend is another dystopian thriller set in the future United States, where North America is split into two warring nations and society is split between the haves and the have-nots.  Fifteen-year-old Day, a famous criminal, and June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover dark secrets about the government in power and eventually decide that they have a common enemy.  

Legend has recently received a nomination for the Young Adult Golden Sower Award for 2013-2014.  Don't miss this one!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guitar Boy by Mary Jane Auch

Travis Tracy suddenly finds himself homeless.  His mom is in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury after a car accident.  His father cannot handle the financial and emotional stress and kicks Travis out of the house.  The only thing Travis has going for him is his love of music, which his mom once shared.  After his antique guitar is stolen, Travis talks his way into a job assisting a guitar maker.  Through the kindness of the guitar maker and the help of complete strangers, Travis finds a way to get through the tough times and to start the healing process of his broken family.  A truly heartwarming story.  If you like music, you will understand what satisfaction comes from pursuing your passion.  Guitar Boy is nominated for the 2012-2013 young adult Golden Sower Award.

A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ms. Hart works as a teacher in a Los Angeles high school.  As part of a creative writing class, students are assigned to write about what they would like to be famous for.  If they could get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for anything good that they have done or plan to do - what would they receive their star for?  A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is written in alternating chapters, each narrated by the different characters, as they examine their lives, their passions, and the obstacles that life presents.  As students sit down to write their final draft they begin to realize that anything is possible when you reach for the stars.  A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a nominee for the young adult Golden Sower Award.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Running Dream

The Running Dream is a truly heartwarming, uplifting story about a girl who loses part of her leg in a tragic accident, then overcomes great odds to accomplish her goal.  Jessica is a 16-year-old runner (and member of the track team) who is headed for greatness.  But as the team returns home from a meet, the bus collides with a truck, causing injuries that pose much greater obstacles than track could ever prepare her for.

As Jessica deals with the harsh reality of her loss, she also learns about true friendship, the importance of family, and how to see others for who they are and not their handicap.  For those of you who like realistic fiction / human drama, you will find this to be a great read.  The Running Dream is nominated for the young adult Golden Sower Award.  

Click here to listen to the author talk about her book.

Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. Terupt is nominated for the intermediate Golden Sower Award.  The story documents the school year of a fifth grade class and the profound impact that their teacher, Mr. Terupt, has on their lives.  As with all classes, Mr. Terupt’s class is full of different personalities, students with different challenges, and, of course, different experiences with and expectations of school.  It is not until Mr. Terupt is gone that the students begin to understand how much they learned from their teacher.  

Readers will relate to different students and situations - the class clown, the sensitive, quiet student, the smart mathematically gifted student, and how each person brings their own life experiences into school

All the Broken Pieces

All the Broken Pieces is a novel in verse about Matt Pin, a boy from Vietnam who was airlifted out of the country during the war.  Although he is now living in a loving, adoptive home in the United States, he is haunted by the secrets and memories he left in his home country.  As he struggles with life and school in the U.S., he is finally forced to confront his past.  
All the Broken Pieces provides a realistic view of the Vietnam War and how it profoundly affected lives in the 1970s - those who did not serve, those who served and came back differently, both mentally and physically, and those who carried hatred and blame for the most unpopular war in U.S. history.    This book is currently nominated for the young adult Golden Sower Award.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman is another title nominated for the young adult Golden Sower Award.  In typical fashion, Shusterman creates characters you soon grow to care about in a bizarre situation which prompts much deeper questions about the characters and human nature in general.  Tennyson twin sister Bronte befriend a student who has always been a loner.  They soon begin to understand why he chooses to be a loner.  Brewster, or Bruiser, as everyone calls him, is not your ordinary student and does not live your ordinary life.  He has a special gift (or curse) that causes him to take on all of the pain experienced by people he cares about.  When Brewster does decide to reach out, it may reveal to everyone what he has tried to hide.  Worse yet, it could cost him his life.  Be sure to put this book on your Golden Sower reading list.  Neal Shusterman is also the author of Unwind and The Shadow Club, just to mention a few.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Card Turner

The Card Turner by Louis Sachar is another title nominated for the young adult Golden Sower Award.  This book has a much slower pace than it's competitors and contains a lot of information on the game of Bridge.  Alton is a 17-year-old who gets recruited by a great uncle to turn cards for him as  he competes in Bridge games and tournaments.  Trapp, Alton's rich great uncle, is not in good health and is also blind, thus the need for a card turner.  As the story progresses, Alton learns a lot about himself, forms a relationship with his uncle, and of course, develops a love for the card game.  This book will be much more appreciated by readers who like to see growth in their characters and  appreciate how caring relationships can be built in the most unusual circumstances.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by  Sharon Draper is one of those books everyone should read.  It just does a great job of capturing the thoughts and emotions of a girl who has a very bright mind but is trapped inside a body that doesn't work.  Melody is an eleven-year-old who has a photographic memory and is the smartest student in her school, but no one knows it.  Students and teachers alike think she is incapable of learning because she cannot walk, talk, or even feed herself.  

Throughout the book readers will cheer for and hurt for Melody as she encounters the cruelty of kids and adults, the kindness and support of a select few, and an opportunity to show others her enormous potential.  A great companion book to Rules by Cynthia Lord.  Out of My Mind is nominated for the 2012-2013 Golden Sower Award.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

IQ: Independence Hall

Did you like the Alex Rider series?  How about Conspiracy 365?  Haven't read them yet but you love mysteries and spy stories?  Then you're bound to like IQ: Independence Hall.  (book 1)  The book has been around for a while and so has the author but it's really hard to go wrong with a Roland Smith book.  (Zach's Lie, Peak,  Storm Runners, etc.)

Step-siblings Angela and Quest (Q) are thrown into a world of espionage as they begin to learn more about Angela's mother, a former Secret Service agent who was supposedly killed by a terrorist group. Angela knows they are being followed and that they are in danger, but exactly who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?  This story has a lot of unpredictable twists and will keep you guessing to the very end!  The EMS library also has book 2, IQ: The White House, and much to the delight of Roland Smith fans, book 3, Kitty Hawk, is due out this fall.

A great summer read!  Want to know more?  Click here to see a book trailer on Independence Hall.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Girl Stolen

Girl Stolen is nominated for the 2012-2013 Young Adult Golden Sower Award.  If you would like to get an early start reading next year’s nominated books, and if you are a fan of suspense, this book may be a good place to start.   Language and topics may require Girl Stolen to be placed on our young adult shelf…time will tell.  

Cheyenne Wilder is the daughter of a famous, powerful, and wealthy man.  While ill and sleeping in the back of a car, the car is stolen by a boy about her age.  Griffen hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, but once his dad discovers her identity everything changes.  And as events change, Cheyenne begins to understand that not only is she ill with pneumonia, but her life is in danger.   Worse, she is not only sick and scared, but she is also blind.  Against all odds, Cheyenne must find a way to escape.

To view a book trailer of Girl Stolen, follow this link. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Over the Edge

One of the things I enjoyed about summer when I was a kid was having the chance to read a lot of books.  I loved mysteries and probably read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book that was in our library.  Maybe that's why I decided to read Over the Edge by Norah McClintock.  This book is a little misleading at first.  Because the author takes a while to develop the storyline and the characters, she also takes her time in building mystery and suspense. But it is worth the wait!

When Chloe moves to a small town and goes through the trials of making friends, she learns of the deaths of two high school students.  One was an athlete, one was what the other students referred to as a nerd.  The more she learns, the more she is convinced that these two deaths were neither accident or suicide.  And, as with all good mysteries, you don't know until the end who the guilty parties are or exactly how the clues will unravel.

This is the first book in the series Chloe and Levesque.  The EMS Library currently has the first four books.  If you read and enjoy this book, the second in the series is titled Double-Cross.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Epitaph Road

 Here is the first in what I hope will be many book reviews and comments.  I have had many requests for books like The Compound so I thought my first post would be about Epitaph Road by David Patneaude.  If you are a science fiction fan or really liked books like Unwind, The Compound, or The Uglies, this may be one for you.

  Kellen is living in the year 2097, after an airborne virus nearly caused man's extinction.  Women now rule the world, and poverty, crime, war, and hunger have nearly been eliminated.  When a rumored outbreak of another virus threatens many lives, and in particular Kellen's outcast  father, he risks everything in a desperate race to warn of impending danger.   And, in doing so, uncovers information so frightening that the world may never be the same.

This is a book that EMS will place on their young adult shelf next year, but a great read for incoming 8th graders who love futuristic suspense.   Click here to see a book trailer of Epitaph Road.