Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shooting Star by Frederick McKissack, Jr.

This is another one of those books where I wanted to ask the main character, "What are you doing?" Not that I want to make light of the issues addressed in the book. I'm sure these situations are real ones that teens and adults deal with frequently. Sports are huge in our society, so athletes are under a lot of pressure to perform.

To the story: Jomo is good at football, and he wants to be better. He is constantly reminded that he is small and needs to be bigger to have a real shot at college ball and the training program he is on is not working fast enough for him.

Jomo is smart and has a lot going for him, but football is what he wants the most. So, in my head, I am begging Jomo not go to call the guy that can 'hook him up' or to meet the guy who can get him the performance enhancing drugs.

Never having been an athlete, I will not pretend to know what Jomo must be going through. I hope those who do have dreams of making it big in sports take the time to read this book and at least think about what Jomo has done in the name of being better.

Click here for more info about this book from the Westfield Washington Public Library.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Chamber of Five by Michael Harmon

This book is from a sub-genre of realistic fiction that I call cruel school. You hope that your school is not anywhere near is bad as the place described in the book.

Jason attends the prestigious Lambert School. His dad is an influential state senator and alum of the school and is the reason Jason is there. Due to his connections, Jason is chosen for the elite Chamber of Five, a group of students who unofficially rule the school. Jason wants no part of it. He is not like his dad and doesn't like the cruel things the Chamber of Five does in the name of power.

The really smart kids who earned their way into the school are powerless and have no say in anything. Jason wants to change all of that which will not be easy because the head of chamber is used to getting his way and will resort to blackmail and violence to get it. These methods are just part of the chambers methods. Jason will have to risk everything to change the system from the inside.

Click here for more info about this book from the Evergreen catalog.