Sunday, August 31, 2008

Preview trailer for fall booktalk is ready!

I used a preview trailer last semester, and it had a very positive reaction. Students, when they came into the lecture hall, weren't talking, but looking at the trailer, especially with the music that goes with is. As the kids would say, Animoto is SICK! I agree... : )
Here are the titles I'll be presenting in a couple weeks. Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a week!

School has definitely started, and if anyone shares the angst of migrating to a new circ system, I am now in the pool of those who have been bamboozled, frustrated, confused, and learning. So, with that said, ain't no books be read recently. Well, I should say I've started a few and am working on a new book trailer. I'm reading Angel by Cliff far, so good - am liking it! And the booktrailer is Saving Juliet. Now, to put it all together and enjoy LABOR DAY!! I've got to make a list of books talked this first go-round not only for my school, but for the Region XX presentation in September...
I HATE that my school has blocked web 2.0! A huge GRRRRRRRR.....grrrrr

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Humorous Fiction for Guys

Another compiled list of books I've read that guys who read this genre will bust a gut over! If you know of any, please comment and add to this list. This is a tough genre!! Not a whole bunch out there for high school guys - lots for upper elementary and middle school, but high school is a bit harder, don't you think?

24 Girls in 7 Days by Alex Bradley
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Alexie Sherman
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis
Drawing a Blank by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg
Exploits of a Reluctant (but very good looking) Superhero by Maureen Fergus
Gotta Get Some Bish Bash Bosh by M.E. Allen
Headlock by Joyce SweeneyI'm Exploding Now by Sid Hite
Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
Sleeping Freshmen Never Life by David Lubar
Son of the Mob by Gordan Korman
Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizener
Storky: How I Lost my nickname and Won the Girl by Debra Garfinkle
Ten Things to Do Before I Die by Daniel Ehrenhaft

Monday, August 25, 2008

La Bates Familia : )

Computers, myspace,

blogs...thank goodness we

have three!

Mi mija, Maddy

Bella... muy bonita dog...

mi esposo, Steve

You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn

Miles and Laura, Laura and Miles…childhood friends more than cousins. They had their own secret words, their own private treehouse, and their own made-up fairytales. Both were blonde and cute, but even at an early age, they couldn’t have been more different. Miles loved to read read read…Laura loved to re-tell fairy tales, but with quite a twist on them.

As they got older, the differences began to appear more often than not. Laura remained beautiful, blonde, smart, thin…Miles wore black, dyed her hair black, painted her nails black, fought against the system and gained weight. Now, the only thing they have in common is meeting every now and then in their private treehouse to soar in the clouds, using prescription drugs.

Now the ultimate has happened – Laura committed suicide using those same prescription drugs. Miles’s world is turned topsy-turvy. Even though they didn’t hang out at school together or share the same friends, Laura was the sun that Miles’s universe revolved around. She covers her emotions and the hurricane building within her with Darvoset, Percodan, Valium. And she continues her regular habit of belittling herself because of her weight as well as becoming a recluse.

The only person she lets into her world is Jamal, her best friend. Everyone loves Jamal in and out of school, and while they give him a hard time about hanging around with “8 Mile,” or Miles, he doesn’t care. He loves Miles’s attitude and her creativity. She loves his “I don’t care what they say about us” attitude and his smooth looks. But things begin to fall apart between them when Bex, Laura’s best friend, turns to Jamal for comfort after the funeral. Suddenly, Miles’s secret love is threatened. She retreats into the garden with her smokes and coke, and again, she covers her emotions with prescription drugs. Then things get really bad…

Rachel Cohn is best known in the YA circle for her books Pop Princess and Gingerbread, and this is a far departure from both. Miles is not a heroine, and she will never see herself as worthy of relationships of any kind. Readers will automatically sense this about her and not really like who she is, but will at the same time be intrigued with her. And that is what makes this such a great YA book. Miles takes the reader on a journey of a person who has the possibility of it all, but chooses to become an addict, never seeing the beauty and intelligence she truly possesses. Readers will get to see these hidden traits in glimpses through the characters involved in her life, but won’t understand the full import of how deep Miles has gotten into her drug culture until the last part of the book. She is redeemed, but there will always be the shadow of a monster called Percodan and a dead girl following her.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What would your name be?

I think every librarian has dreamed of owning a bookstore...I know I have. If I owned one, it would be in an old brick warehouse in a smaller city or town. I would name it Two Stories, a double entendre not only for the building, but for what's in the building as well. I would have wainscoting, twelve foot ceilings, old painted brick....I can picture it now.
What would your bookstore's name be?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Unwind by Neal Shusterman - Redux

Back in March, when I was playing around with book trailers, I created one for Shusterman's book. And it was okay...
Now, that I know better, I've created a better version using moviemaker. You have to watch both to see what a difference a little learning, better hands-on use and more creativity will get you.
I had to re-do this book because in my honest opinion, I believe it has such impact not only on a reader of pleasure, but also on high school curriculum on so many levels. This book makes you THINK...reliving the past, the gray areas in human ethics and morality, replacing one evil with another...this book not only intrigued and tugged at me, but also any teen who read this came back loved it as well...

To watch the old one click on the link below:

look at my new and improved!

Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfours

(see previous post for cover). Publisher: Walker & Company, New York.

Mimi Wallingford’s life has always been shadowed by her family’s reputation as the Manhattan Wallingfords, famous Broadway actors. The only place she considers home is the Wallingford Theatre – but the thought of performing on it makes her sick.
To help with rising debt and to make her mother’s wishes of stardom for her daughter happen, Mimi plays Juliet in Shakespeare’s famous play. Her lover? None other than Troy Summer, California teen pop star and current heartthrob. Mimi doesn’t think her life could get any worse.
On the day of the last performance, Mimi wears a necklace her Aunt Mary gave her, supposedly containing the ashes of the quill Shakespeare wrote with. When she refuses to take it off, a fight erupts and the necklace gets broken, sending Troy and Mimi back to 16th century Verona and in the households of Montague and Capulet.
From henceforth, the book becomes a mash-up of 21st century teen thinking and 16th century society, with Juliet in the midst of it. Mimi can’t let Juliet die, but things don’t go as planned at the party. Paris the pervert, will marry Juliet; Mimi falls in love with Benvolio, whose pick-up line for every girl is “your beauty makes the torches burn brighter.”; and everyone is beginning to hum Troy Summer’s next hit “Girl, oh oh oh oh oh girl.” Tybalt is a bully, and Mercutio is….well Mercutio. Example – two of Mercutio’s songs he’s written include “Girl, Come Hither and We Shall Dither “as well as “ Girl. Come and Handle my Candle.”
Shakespeare gets re-written in his hilarious outtake of what happens in Verona. Mimi is still trying to find true love herself, and Troy is making that difficult, not only with his playboy ways, but with his hot looks as well. Readers will laugh out loud when reading this book as well as recognize scenes and lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The ending of Mimi’s play is far different from Shakespeare’s, but the similarities between Juliet and Mimi is unmistakable, as well as both Mother Capulet and Wallingford mirroring each other. Minor characters also become newer and different, including Nurse and Father Montague. Selfours has done an excellent job of writing her version of the classic by adding quirkiness, hilarity and romance into one very nice 16th meets 21st century package. I see a definite book pairing with this novel.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I got my FIX...

I have read so many serious novels and desperately needed something light, funny, and well-written to stave off my overload of seriousness. So what was my candy? Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfours.

LOVED IT!!! Reviewing it tomorrow. I see this as a highly circulated book, especially after the six week Romeo and Juliet read. My bar for a good funny book? When it takes you by surprise and you find yourself laughing out loud. I did that with this one!

Funny...seems like two of the better funnier books feature Shakespeare - this one and Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizener. It's good to see such a seriously heavy genre that is torn apart by analyzation in the classroom come in and sweep students away with some really good sticky sweet reading!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Unspoken by Thomas Fahy

Although I love to read YA, sometimes I have to take a step back and read some good, unadulturated, pure adult novels...Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson are two of my favorites. But since booktalking is around the corner, I picked up another YA book to add to my list and boy was I in for a shocking, wonderful suprise!

Six teens....all former religious cult members...have to live with the fact they killed Jacob the leader of the cult. Not only did he kill their parents, but he left scars on the kids, both emotional and physical. On the eve of his last day alive, he preachers that only six will remain, but in five years, they will meet their worst fears...Five years later, five of the teens are back in the small town of Meridian for the funeral of their friend Harold, who drowned mysteriously. Allison continues to have visions of their deaths and one by one her visions are coming true. But are they just a synapse of her brain due to epilepsy or truly visions? Can she find the killer or is it one of them or the townspeople bringing death and misery to their lives?

Adult thriller mystery meets YA! This is Fahy's first book for YA, but there are many elements that seem more in keeping with adult thrillers. You'll just have to read it to understand. I can definitely see older YA's who read adult authors enjoying this book.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A list of great YA mysteries

Thought I'd compile a list of YA mysteries I've read and absolutely loved:

Acceleration Graham McNamee
Aftershock Kelly Easton
Black Rabbit Summer Kevin Brooks
Blackthorn Winter Kathryn Reiss
Body Bags Christopher Golden
Body of Christopher Creed Carol Plum Ucci
Caught in the Act Peter Moore
Chaos Code Justin Richards
Christopher Killer Alane Ferguson
Club Dread Walter Sorrells
Crunch Time Mariah Fredericks
Dancing in Red Shoes will Kill You Dorian Cirrone
Dead Girls Don't Write Letters Gail Giles
Desert Crossing Elise Broach
Double Helix Nancy Werlin
Fake ID Walter Sorrells
Falconer's Knot: A story of friars,
flirtation and foul play Mary Hoffman
Finding Lubchenko Michael Simmons
First Shot Walter Sorrells
Foreign Exchange: A Mystery in Poems Mel Glenn
King Dork Frank Portman
Night My Sister Went Missing Carol Plum-Ucci
Pretty Little Devils Nancy Holder
Sarah's Face Melvin Burgess
Shock Point April Henry
Shooting Monarchs John Halliday
So Yesterday Scott Westerfeld
Streams of Babel Carol Plum-Ucci
To the Power of Three Laura Lippman
Waves Sharon Dogar
Who Killed Mr. Chippendale Mel Glenn

Currently reading The Unspoken by Thomas Fahy...loving it! Blogging it tomorrow!!!
I also have to add Sight by Adrienne Vrettos

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin were nine years old when they found a dead body in the park. Margo was nine when she knew her strings were broken, but Quentin didn’t know it yet…
Nine years later, both of them are finishing their senior year in high school. Margo’s circle of friends include Lacy, Jace, and Becca – the beautiful people. Quentin’s best friends are Ben, who is trolling freshmen for a prom date, and Radar, who is hooked on his website, Omnictionary
Margo is notorious for pulling pranks and being an enigma. Not only has she orchestrated toilet papering 200 homes without any incident, but she also loves to leave home – leaving only clues as to where she went. When she took off for Mississippi, her clue was found in a bowl of alphabet soup. Quentin is on the steady track – good grades, good college, keeping his head low. They spin in opposite directions and haven’t really talked since the “incident” until Margo crawls into Ben’s room one night.
Things change the night Margo entices Quentin into a game of revenge and living on the edge. There is no breaking and entering, but revenge does include three whole catfish, Vaseline, tulips, and Mountain Dew, to name a few. That night Margo brings up paper towns – fictional places that are two-dimensional and without reality. Paper people, paper houses…Margo wants three dimensions and she is tired of living surrounded by those who can’t see what she does.
After the night of revenge, Margo doesn’t show up for school the next day, and people don’t seem to mind (typical Margo) but when it becomes a week, Q knows something is wrong. Margo is missing and he has made it a point to find her following clues only Margo knows how to create. For Margo, the fun isn’t in the trip, it’s in the planning. As Q delves into the clues, he begins to worry – is she alive or dead? When he finds her, will it be too late and the strings that hold Margo will be irrevocably cut? Will she lose herself in a paper town or pseudovision like the man they found nine years ago?
If a cover could tell a thousand words, Paper Towns’s cover will. John Green has gone from the dark side (Looking for Alaska) to the light side (Abundance of Katherines) and this book is a perfect melding both. While it begins light and funny, it takes a turn toward the dark, and the reader will continuously be laughing at Q’s and friends antics while sitting on the edge of the seat waiting to find out what happened to Margo. This is a definite page-turner that will involve the reader from beginning to end. Recommended

The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes

Noyes, Deborah. (2008). The Ghosts of Kerfol. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
The manor of Kerfol is unlike any other house in France. It has had many occupants, and sadly, most of them haven’t had good lives. There have been lovers, servants, husbands and wives, teens and animals that have met their match when living there. Rumours have followed this place from the beginning until today.
There are five short stories that make up this book. The first tells the beginnings of the house and its occupants in the year 1613. A young woman kept under lock and key by her abusive older husband has decided to find true love. But all she finds is heartache misery and death…This sets the stage for the rest of the history of the manor and the curious happenings that occur there. The year is now 1802, and the French Revolution has forced aristocrats to scatter, leaving Kerfol to a young artist. His encounters with a mysterious woman and a beautiful necklace will haunt him the rest of his list…
The year 1926 finds Americans living in the manor during the height of the flapper era. A young woman, spoiled by her father, is hosting a party wearing a beautiful necklace found in the manor safe. What she encounters one evening at a gin party will irrevocably change her life…
Later in the 20th century – 1982 – a young adult finds herself on vacation with her boyfriend Nick and his identical twin brother, Ethan. She knows she doesn’t belong with Nick and thinks Ethan is a better fit because of his carefree ways. When she decides to take her lover Nick to spend the night in the manor…in the baron’s bedroom….things quickly fall apart and nothing will ever the same between them.
The last chapter is set in 2006. A young man is restoring the manor after the fire. He wants to prove to his father that he can handle the job even though he’s deaf. But one evening, he finds he can hear things…fiddles, dogs barking… and definitely sees things. Will the haunted do him harm or can he esacpe?
Deborah Noyes is known for her anthology of suspense and thrillers. This book of short stories is another good collection of the haunted with the interesting twist of having a house as the main character. The reader will see the weaving of tales and lives from the 1600’s to today and wonder who the next occupants of the house will be.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The most amazing public library website I've seen for YA

Not only is Austin my favorite city (next to San Francisco), but it also has an amazing website for young adults.

The parts I love about this site: the booklists!! Click on the books, etc button and go explore....Patti Cook and Joanna Nigrelli has done a great job keeping these lists up-to-date.
I could spend hours just exploring.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back home and ready to review!

Summer is over, and I had a great time in San Antonio and the beautiful Comal river! But with that, I got to finish Paper Towns and will review that tomorrow morning to post : )
Also am looking forward to reading the ARC I received of Deborah Noyes's new book, The Ghosts of Kerfol. I have a lot of reading to catch up on!
Starting work tomorrow....lots to do!
I also met a wonderful librarian from Northside ISD (shout out to Millie!) who shared a great tip with me! Along with using book trailers, another great resource to use to amp up your booktalk would be using movie trailers of YA books to movies!! I LOVE that idea!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Packing up...

Tomorrow I hit San Antonio for my last two workshops of the summer. I've had tremendous fun with everyone from Victoria to Fort Worth that have been to these and learned about web 2.0 and booktalking. I've even learned myself from them as well! Then I'll float my last time on the Guadalupe and head home to start work.
Bringing with me these books:
Paper Towns by John Green
Generation Dead by Dan Waters
He Forgot to Say Goodbye and Benjamin Saenz

These all look like good titles....halfway through Paper Towns and a preview preview: THUMBS UP!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Teen tech hype

Hmmmm.....back in the day, I used Netscape, but for some reason preferred Explorer better, especially now with the 7.0 version and tabs!! Now teens are flocking to Firefox and Safari. I just downloaded Safari, but have yet to do so with Firefox. I wonder why teens are beginning to prefer this browser? Time to take a look a find out. There's got to be a catch I'm missing somewhere!
But like a pair of favorite shoes, I can't imagine giving up Explorer. Time will tell...more on this later after I run the two!

PS - The new iPhone uses Safari, and I LOVED IT!! Must get one of those!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Girls' Book of Glamour: A guide to being a goddess

Scholastic will put this book out in January 2009, so be prepared to get a copy or three of this one! My 12 year old daughter, Maddy, sadly to say, isn't a big reader. It takes a certain book to really hook her and I haven't seen this happen since she read Number the Stars a couple of months ago. Anyway, I got in this ARC and it has been sitting in my pile o'reading when she picked it up. A few minutes later, she comes rushing into the living room asking, "Mom, can I keep this book?"

I believe this reaction will happen to MANY girls who pick this book up. Why? Simply, because there aren't a whole of books about the subject of girls and the girly things they are interested in. Want to know how to shiniest hair ever? How about having the prettiest summer feet? And let's not forget about the how to deal with zits! It's not about being a model - it's about being the prettiest girl you can possibly be.

This book has the cover and artwork of a book from the 1940s'1950's, but the information is very 21st century. Lots of dog-ears and late night reading at sleepovers will be the product of this helpful books for tweens and teens. Moms may just pick it up as well!! There is a companion book The Boys' Book of Survival: how to survive anything, anywhere. Will read that tonight!

YA Book Pairs

I've been dabbling with this for awhile, and have a working list. It's an older list by book standards, but these books still pack a punch with teens. I tried to pair NF with fiction.
I have a current list and will post this soon. These will include titles within the last two years. Here is what I worked up awhile back. I thought about titles I'd add to what I've already done and they're in a different color:

Homer. Translated by W.H.D. Rouse. (1999). The Odyssey New York: Signet Classics. Because he angered the gods, Odysseus must go on a journey and leave behind all that is familiar to him. He undergoes several trials, which includes Cyclops, Sirens, and Lotus-eaters, loses friends along the way, and understands himself as a person throughout his ordeal.
Deuker, Carl. (2003). High Heat. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
When Shane‚s life of privilege is turned around by the death of his father, he has to come to grips with his situation. But when he hurts another ball player intentionally, he has to come to terms with himself.
Tragic hero, tie-in through epic literary elements
Holly Black's books (Tithe and Ironsides)
Draper, Sharon. (1999). Romiette and Julio. New York: Atheneum Books.
Julio, a Hispanic from Texas moves to the northern U.S. and through Internet chat, he meets and falls in love with Romiette, an African-American girl. This doesn‚t sit well with her other friends, who are against their inter-racial dating, and tragedy occurs in their relationship. A modern day young adult book mirroring the classic tale by William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare, William. Edited by Harold Bloom. (2000). Romeo and Juliet. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
The classic tale of love and tragedy and the hatred of two rival families.
YA meets Shakespeare
Enter Three Witches: A story of Macbeth by Caroline B. Cooney

Larsen, Erick and Isaac Monroe Cline. (1999). Isaac‚s Storm: man, a time, and the deadliest hurricane in history. New York: Crown Publishers.
Real accounts of the deadliest storm in the United States history as told through excerpts of Isaac Cline, an early meteorologist, and the devastation that occurred in Galveston. Includes actual photographs as well as modern-day interpretation of the storm.
Murphy, Jim. (2000). Blizzard! : the storm that changed America. New York: Scholastic.
Historical documentation based on first-person accounts, newspaper articles, and photographs and lithographs of the time when an unexpected blizzard hit the eastern seaboard, esp. New York City, in 1888.
Murphy, Jim. (1995). Great Fire. New York: Scholastic.
First person accounts of several survivors as well as newspaper articles and photographs/maps of the Great Fire of Chicago are interspersed to give the reader a first-hand, factual account of how this great city was devastated, why, and how people coped and survived the aftermath.
Natural disasters and science
Susan Pfeffer Life as We Knew It and her sequel The Dead & the Gone

Murphy, Jim. (2003). An American Plague: the true and terrifying story of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. New York: Clarion Books.
Looks at the yellow fever plague in Philadelphia during the late 1700‚s and the people who tried to conquer this epidemic through coarse medical knowledge and goodwill. Includes doctor‚s accounts as well as the works of government and the Free African Society. Contains illustrations and clippings from newspapers of the times.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. (2000). Fever 1793. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Sixteen year old Matilda lives in Philadelphia and begins to understand the horror of plague when it hits her hometown of Philadelphia. She experiences the mass exodus of people from the city as well as her own mother‚s death. When Matilda contracts the fever and survives, she ensures her help to those who need help the most.

Epidemics in the United States

Murray, Jaye. (2003). Bottled Up. New York: Dial Books.
Pip, a stoner in high school, must attend counseling sessions if he wants to avoid his father becoming involved in his school life. He tries to hide the fact that his father is a raging alcoholic and his mother is a pill popper as well as juggling to protect his little brother from getting emotionally and physically hurt. Through his counseling, and with the help of a teacher, a girl who‚s a friend, and a cop, Pip makes it through the tough part of quitting drugs in order to create a more bearable world for himself and his brother.
Martinez, Victor. (1998). Parrot in the Oven: mi vida : a novel. New York: HarperTrophy.
Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone's struggle. The reader also gets to see how his older brother and sister handle their life in this situation as well as the mother, who tries to keep her family together through poverty and abuse.
Two views on a popular research topic from different cultural viewpoints.

Latifa, Hachemi Chekeba. (2001). My Forbidden Face. New York: Talk Miramax Books.
16 year old Latifa has grown up amidst the takeover of the Taliban in Kabul in 1997. Where once she envisioned herself as a journalist, she must now wear a burkha to cover her face and live a life of oppression for women. She and her family escape to Paris and her account of what she encountered during her four years on the run is written from a first-person narrative.

Lee, Nancy, Schlein, Lonnie and Mitchel Levitas. (2002). A Nation Challenged: A Visual History of 9/11 and its aftermath. New York: Scholastic.
A photographic look of the horror and devastation that occurred in New York City on September 11th. Includes accounts from the New York Times.
Feiler, Bruce S. (2002). Abraham: A Journey to the heart of three faiths. New York: W. Morrow.
What starts as a biography of Abraham, the Old Testament character who gave births to three extremely different religions, goes on to the implications and history behind Judaism, Islam, and Christianity to modern-day times and its implications on global events.

National/World current events National disasters Terrorism
Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers; Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Eliot, Eve. (2001).Insatiable : the compelling story of four teens, food, and its power. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications.
The reader meets four different girls whose lives are intertwined through friendship and their interaction with food. Diseases such as bulimia and anorexia are examined as well as overeating and self-esteem issues. Each girl faces her own misery and deals with her personal and family problems in different ways, with tragedy occurring.
Bennett, Cherie. (1998). Life in the Fat Lane. New York: Delacorte Press.
Laura has it all. She‚s homecoming queen, most popular girl in high school and is dating a good-looking boyfriend. Things begin to change when she mysteriously starts to gain weight. As her weight balloons, the way her friends and boyfriend treat her as well as society in general. Laura‚s family views also change when their daughter goes from beauty queen to an obese teenager due to a rare disease. Laura must deal with all of this as well as how to fight back in order to maintain and regain her self-esteem.
Two views on a popular research topic Popular subject for HS girls
My Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught

Capuzzo, Mike. (2003)Close to Shore: The Terrifying shark attacks of 1816. New York: Crown Publishers.
A historical account of a shark attack around the New Jersey shoreline for two weeks in July. Included is a history of early 20th century New Jersey as well as public reaction and reasons why this attack occurred. The attack spawned a national outrage against sharks that is still prevalent in this day and age.
Alten, Steve. (1997). Meg. New York: Doubleday.
Paleo-biologist Jonas Taylor comes face to face with a megalodon, the prehistoric species of modern-day great white shark, and tries to capture it before it faces extinction or causes more death or harm to the balance in nature. In the first book, the megalodon rises from the depths of the Mariana Trench pregnant with a brood of three babies. The sequel, The Trench, is focused on the meg‚s offspring and other prehistoric monsters that survived and adapted to life in the Mariana Trench. Jonas must face his demons from the past in order to save his future.

A look at scientific, biographical and fictional accounts of sharks and their predecessors Good study of biomes.
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

Golden, Christopher. (1999).Body Bags. New York: Pocket Books.
Jenna Blake is beginning her first semester as Somerset University. She takes a job with the forensic laboratory in town and becomes involved in a series of unexpected and gruesome deaths, which takes her closer to the killer with every forensic clue that is solved.
Owen, David. (2000). Hidden Evidence: 40 true crimes and how forensic science helped solved them. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books.
Profiles forty true crime cases and explains how their investigations were aided by the use of forensic science. These are mostly high-profile crime cases that include Czar Nicholas to Nicole Brown Simpson. Included with each case is a forensic look on clues left behind that could help solve these cases.
Physiology and anatomy/biology- good science topics
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

TEN: Melville, Herman. Adapted by Will Eisner. (1998). Moby Dick. New York: Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine.
The classic tale of Captain Ahab and his ventures across the sea to find and kill his nemesis, the white whale.
Naslund, Sena Jeter. (1999). Ahab’s Wife or the star gazer: a novel. New York: W. Morrow and Company.
Una Spenser has lived an interesting life. She grew up in a privileged household and later decided to board a ship as a cabin boy to experience life on the sea. She meets and falls in love with Captain Ahab and bears him a son. Through her life experiences, the reader sees life and current issues of the time (19th century New England) and a two-sided view of the Ahab‚s lives, from the mad captain on the sea to his loving wife at home waiting for his return. This novel is based on a singular instance of the classic in which Ahab mentions a wife in the book Moby Dick.

Literary elements of a classic retold

Hobbs, Will. (1999). Jason‚s Gold. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Fifteen year old Jason leaves Seattle behind to find gold and his brothers in the Klondike. He encounters many trials by nature and on the way, befriends and nurtures a relationship with a Husky named King, who helps Jason survive the harsh northern environment.

Kostyal, K.M. (1999). Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton. New York: Scholastic. Sir Ernest Shackleton and her crew of the Endurance fight for their lives when they are shipwrecked by ice in the middle of the Antarctic. First-hand accounts as well as beautiful black and white photographs taken by a crew member are compiled into this book and shows how the ship‚s name bears itself in Sir Shackleton and the rest of the survivors.

Human endurance against the elements
Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White