Monday, July 25, 2016

Textbook Chart

Evil Librarian

Knudsen, M. (2014). Evil librarian. Massachusetts: Candlewick.

Summary: Mr. Gabriel is the new high school librarian at Cynthia's school. Her best friend, Annie, has fallen head over heals for him. He's very hip, young, and handsome. After a series of events, Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is actually a demon. She hears of his plan to drain the students of their souls and make Annie as evil as he is. Cyn is determined to save her friend from his evil clutches as well as the rest of the students in her school.  When Cyn discovers she is a "super roach" and immune to demon powers, she enters into the fight of her life to save her friends and the school musical.
Commentary: Cynthia or, Cyn as her friends call her, is just your average high school character. She's highly relatable with her crush on Ryan and her diehard friendship to Annie. However, she is put in an extraordinary situation when her new librarian turns out to be a demon that wants to steal her best friend. She must become more than her normal self. She must grow and become brave to save her school. Readers will love to cheer her on as she takes on the demon world.
Connections: Teacher Resources, Book Trailer, Book Review, Author Interview
Similar Books: Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron; The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey; Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach
Textbook Connections: When I saw the cover of Evil Librarian, I knew students would really like it and are more likely to choose a book with an interesting cover.

Goodbye Stranger

Stead, R. (2015). Goodbye stranger. Boston: Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors.

Summary: Bridget Barsamian is in seventh grade with her two best friends, Emily and Tab. Bridge survived a fatal accident when she was eight years old and she has been struggling with the question of why she did. Bridge often wonders about many things like whether her friend Sherm likes her as more than a friend or if the moon landing was faked. Although the three friends vowed never to fight, Emily gets embroiled in a sexting scandal in school over something that Bridge made her promise not to do. There are multiple story lines that explore the subjects of love and relationships.
Commentary: The characters in the story are all very relatable. They are in middle school and are plagued with the problems of any adolescent readers. There are multiple story lines that help to give us a more well-rounded view of the whole story. The theme of this story seems to be that there was a reason people were put on this earth. Bridge believes there is a reason she was allowed to live through her near fatal accident.
Connections: Teacher Resources, Book Trailer, Book Review, Author Interview
Similar Books: Ask the Passengers by A.S. King; By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters; The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Textbook Connections: In Goodbye Stranger, we see characters that are growing and developing in different ways under differing circumstances.


Fey, T. (2011). Bossypants. New York: Little, Brown.

Summary: Bossypants is the story of Tina Fey in her early days before fame and fortune. It chronicles different events and stories in her life from when she was in high school to her days on Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey also rights about her experiences as a mother, actress, and producer and how they shaped her into the woman she is today.
Commentary: The author's style is memoir-like. It includes important events throughout her life and career. She includes a lot of humor and figurative language to communicate her lessons. Her vocabulary and word choice add to the funny scenes she describes.
Connections: Book Trailer, Book Review, Author Interview
Similar Books: Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn; I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee; The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level by Chris Hardwick
Textbook Connections: Bossypants would be a great book for reluctant readers. It is written by an actress that most will recognize and it contains a lot of humor.

And We Stay

Hubbard, J. (2015). And we stay. Chicago: Ember.

Summary: Emily Beam has moved to a new school because her boyfriend Paul threatened her with a gun and then committed suicide in her old school's library. Emily avoids forming relationships with her new classmates and focuses on her studies. However, Emily cannot avoid the poetry that she has suddenly developed the need to write. She reveals that prior to Paul's death she had been pregnant. Although she did not want to go through with the abortion after his death, her mother insists. K.T., Emily's roommate, shares that she too is there because of a friend's suicide. Emily relates heavily to Emily Dickenson and realizes that she is her muse. With the spirit of Emily Dickenson to guide her, Emily can find a way to heal herself.
Commentary: The plot of And We Stay is unique because it combines realistic fiction with a bit of the supernatural. Emily goes through some very traumatic events like her boyfriend's suicide and her abortion. Throughout the book she learns to cope with her traumas and with a spirit as her guide she is able to find herself. The theme of friendship is prevalent throughout the story. Emily must learn to trust people. She tends to push people away after her trauma, but throughout the book she begins to open up and develop relationships with others.
Connections: Teacher Resources, Book Trailer, Book Review, Author Interview
Similar Books: The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos; The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely; Two Girls Staring at the Cieling by Lucy Frank
Textbook Connections: And We Stay is a blend of genres and would not fit simply under just one genre in a library.

Through The Woods

Carroll, E. (2014). Through the woods. New York: Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Summary: This graphic novel includes 5 mysterious tales that were written to spook. All five stories are set in the woods with monsters that lurk in the dark. In Our Neighbor's House, three sisters are told to stay in the house for 3 days while their father went hunting. If he did not return they were to go to their neighbor's house. Unfortunately, the girls start disappearing. In A Lady's Hands are Cold, the angry ghost of a murdered woman haunts her husband and his new wife. In His Face All Red, the man's jealousy for his brother drives him to madness. In My Friend Janna, two best friends take advantage of people who come to them believing Janna is a real medium. In The Nesting Place, a young woman visits her older brother and his wife. The only problem is that his wife is not what she seems.
Commentary: The style of this book is quite dark and scary. Students the love scary stories will enjoy these five tales. The drawings in this book add a lot to the stories. The characters in each story help to create the eerie feel of the book. Each story has a different theme but all of them follow a general foreboding nature. In Our Neighbor's House, the girls did not obey their father's rule and paid the price. In My Friend Janna, they were taking advantage of people and ended up getting haunted in turn.
Connections: Teacher Resources, Book Trailer, Book Review, Author Interview
Similar Books: Baba Yaga's Assistance by Marik McCoola; The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang; Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
Textbook Connections: The book Through the Woods will appeal to students because of its graphic nature and the scary subjects they love.