Jan 28 2015

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


Throughout middle and high school my friends and I paid a lot of attention to what the others were reading. We didn’t spend much time talking about books, but we noticed what the others were reading and asked for recommendations, something that we, as boys, never asked a teacher. This was before the internet and …

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Jun 10 2013

My Summer 2013 Reading List


It’s looking to be a busy summer for me, but I still have a long list of books I want to read. Here’s what’s at the top of it. The Tripods trilogy by the late John Christopher. These were serialized in Boys Life magazine when I was a kid and it took me forever to find …

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Oct 16 2012

November is National Novel Writing Month

Every November is National Novel Writing Month, an opportunity to write a 50,000 word novel. Sponsored by the Office of Letters and Light, a California-based nonprofit organization which hosts some of the largest literary events in the world, it started in 1999 with 140 participants, and last year had over a quarter million participants in …

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Oct 29 2011

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie

All that Larkin Pace wants is a new camcorder, so he can become the next great filmmaker. But he’s too young for a real job, his parents won’t give him money, his older sister exists just to make him miserable, and his arch-enemy Dalton Cooke is trying to steal his girlfriend, who might just not …

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Oct 29 2011

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Ketchvar III’s mission is pretty simple: take over the body of an average American teenager and determine if the human race is worth saving. It helps, of course, that Ketchvar is an alien from the planet Sandoval IV and is the same size and shape as a terrestrial snail. It also helps that he is …

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Oct 22 2011

King of the Mild Frontier by Chris Crutcher

Fans of Chris Crutcher (which in my experience includes just about anyone who has read any of his books) will welcome this insight into his life and writing. Although he often writes about sports, it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that Crutcher was not athletically gifted as a child. This was his freshman …

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Oct 12 2011

The Boy Who Howled by Timothy Power

Callum isn’t like other members of his family. He can’t run through the forest on all fours, he can’t bring down deer with his jaws, and he’s not covered with fur. In fact, his dad is even thinking about eating him. It’s clear that Callum doesn’t belong with other members of his family, who are …

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Oct 10 2011

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

It is the darkest of the Dark Ages, and fourteen-year-old William is sent into the forest to gather firewood for Crowfield Abbey, the impoverished monastery where he has lived since becoming an orphan. While there, he hears a plaintive cry for help and investigating, discovers a strange creature caught in a trap. The first thing …

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Oct 09 2011

When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins

At thirteen, Jeff was kidnapped at knifepoint by a man he knows only as Ray, who holds him prisoner and sexually and emotionally abuses him for two and a half years before returning him to his family. Now Jeff is left to pick up the pieces of his life, all the while questioning how his …

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Jul 05 2011

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Sometime in the future, on the Gulf Coast of whatever is left of the United States, Nailer works light crew breaking ships. His small stature helps him clamber deep into the bowls of the ship, going after wiring and other small bits of metal. It’s dangerous work, and a hardscrabble life where a single slip-up …

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