Southbury Teen Review Blog

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The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak Celebrates 10th Anniversary March 8, 2016

Filed under: Books,Uncategorized — Heather @ 6:31 pm
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It’s hard to believe it’s been TEN YEARS since the publication of Marcus Zusak’s modern classic The Book Thief. This is the book that took 2006 by storm.

book thief cover

Here are just some of the honors awarded:

  • 2006: Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (South East Asia & South Pacific)
  • 2006: School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • 2006: Daniel Elliott Peace Award
  • 2006: Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • 2006: National Jewish Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • 2006: Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
  • 2007: Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Printz award is given to the best book for teens, based only on the quality of the writing.
  • 2007: Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Literature

If you’ve never read it – here’s your chance. If, like me, it’s one of your favorites, pick it up and revisit some old friends. Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief tells the story of young Liesl Meminger, orphaned and sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Liesl loves books and becomes adept at stealing them, even though she can’t read. Follow Liesl, her best friend Rudy Steiner, as they navigate the dangerous war years. Narrated by the ever-present Death, The Book Thief is a story that stays with you long after the pages have turned.

 

 

Memorial Day Reads May 27, 2014

This Monday, May 27th we honored those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  In keeping with the patriotic theme, here are some titles that highlight the sacrifice of service, past and future.

Torn by David Massey

“Witnesses to a mystery on the battlefield, a British medic and an American Navy SEAL confront Afghanistan’s fog of war.

In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone. 

To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide? 

Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she’s about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.

A war thriller. A cross-cultural love story with an undercurrent of magic realism. A powerful debut set in modern-day, battle-scarred Afghanistan. This is TORN.”

Vietnam Book 1:  I Pledge Allegiance by Chris Lynch

Four best friends. Four ways to serve their country.

Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together–and they pledge to do all they can to come home together.

Haunted by dreams of violence and death, Morris makes it his personal mission to watch over his friends–and the best place to do that is in the US Navy. Stationed off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Boston, Morris and his fellow sailors provide crucial support to the troops on the ground.

But the Boston itself isn’t safe from attack. And as Morris finds his courage and resolve tested like never before, he keeps coming back to a single thought.

He made a pledge. He must keep them safe.”

The Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“A fourth-generation German-American now living in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (and smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, “The Florence of the Elbe,” a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. This is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from. Peace.

Billy Pilgrim returns home from the Second World War only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.”

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

“The finest novel of the Civil War, and one of the greatest battle stories ever told

The question of courage enters Henry Fleming’s mind the moment he dons the blue uniform of the Union Army. But his first firefight reveals the emptiness of words such as bravery and fear. Pinned in by his comrades, he can only fire his rifle like a cog in a machine. There is no chance to run.

Then comes the true test. Waking from a nap, Henry sees the enemy advancing once again. Gripped by an unshakable terror, he flees—from his regiment, from duty, from everything he wanted to believe about himself. A corpse bears witness to his shame.

The nightmare has come true. Henry Fleming is a coward. Only one thing can save him now: a visible wound, the red badge of courage. With his regiment’s colors in hand, Henry looks the enemy in the eye—and charges.”

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

“If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl? 

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. “

 

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper February 13, 2013

Filed under: Books — Heather @ 3:57 pm
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montmaray

Princess Sophie FitzOsborne lives on the fictional island of Montmaray.  She and her family are royalty, impoverished royalty, holding tight to a crumbling castle and way of life as the events of 1936 swirl around them.  On her sixteenth birthday Sophie receives a journal in which she begins to chronicle the daily routine on Montmaray.  Along with older brother Toby, younger tomboy sister Henry, and her cousin Veronica, Sophie’s world is limited to their island state.  The real world crashes on their shore as two German soldiers arrive on Montmaray, marking an end to their solitude and boredom.

 

Michelle Cooper has given us a sparkling heroine in Sophie.  The antics of the FitzOsborne clan had me enchanted.  Reminiscent of the works of Daphne DuMaurier and Dodie Smith, A Brief History of Montmaray is an instant classic.

Look for the sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile.