Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler

When you were a freshman, did you wonder who you would be when you graduated? Did you think about what your life would be like over the four years of high school? I didn't. At least, I don't remember giving it any thought. I sure didn't know what I wanted to do after high school.

At freshman orientation, five students (Gregor, Zoe, Jake, Whitney and Mia) are assigned to the same group and must complete a project together. They choose to write letters to their future selves and agree to meet after graduation to read them.

We follow each of them through the four year of high school. Whitney is beautiful and popular. Gregor is not so popular but totally taken with Whitney. Jake is athletic (but no longer on the football team) and has a crush on his best friend, Ted. Zoe is the daughter of a famous actress who has a scandalous secret. Mia is searching for her identity and casually watches the others.

We follow each student through their ups and downs. We see how they change and grow and how their lives intersect with each other. In order to tell the story over a four year period, the author jumps several months at a time often leaving us with mini cliff hangers. The letters themselves aren't really important; they are just the vehicle for bringing the five together.

I found this story intriguing because it is different from many other books about teens. Normally, we see teens and their lives change around major events. This story allowed us to see a group of teens changing as a normal course in life.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Losers Take All by David Klass

In school, I never played sports. I was just not interested. And if my P.E. classes are any indication, I had little athletic ability anyway. Thankfully, there was no one who forced me to play organized sports. The same cannot be said for Jack and his fellow non-athletes.

At Fremont High, sports rule. And football rules most of all. Due to unforeseen circumstances (and the school board's obsession with sports), Head Football Coach Muhldinger is made principal and declares that all seniors must join an athletic team.

Jack Logan is one of the seniors who does not want to be on a team. He could be good at sports. His dad is the all-time football star ever at Fremont (and could have gone pro if he hadn't injured his knee in college). Jack's brothers also played. How can Jack defy the Logan family legacy?

Needless to say, Muhldinger (being a total maniac) is furious when Jack refuses to play football after demonstrating his quick speed. Instead, Jack and his friends decide to form a soccer team. A bunch of non-athletes who don't care about winning turns out to be the worst soccer team ever. You might even call it anti-athletics. For Muhldinger, the very legacy of the school is at stake - although not the way he thinks.

In our world of social media and the internet, small actions can become big issues particularly when recorded and posted online. Things get crazy and messy for all concerned before the Losers (the team's unofficial nickname) even play their second game. It's an interesting and fun look at school sports and the role they play in the lives of students.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

From the moment Phillip Digby first appears on Zoe's porch, he will not leave her alone. Digby pops up at any moment and seems to know way too much about what is going on. It's kind of creepy and yet Zoe is drawn into his schemes even when she is breaking the rules.

And breaking the rules will not get Zoe into Princeton. Her goal is to get into the exclusive Prentiss Academy in New York first. Since her parents are separated, she will move in with her father and his new wife in New York (which her mom is not thrilled about).

After the divorce, Zoe and her mother moved to River Heights, a small town still reeling from the abduction of a local teen. Digby's mission is to find the girl or at least the person (or persons) who did it. It's just possible that this kidnapping may be connected to the disappearance of his own sister eight years ago.

Digby drags Zoe and his friend Henry through a series of investigative adventures: stakeouts, break-ins, interrogations, vandalism - you know, general mayhem that eventually involves the police.

Zoe keeps following Digby because she has no other friends and he at least gives her something to do. Plus Digby is smart and has studied police methods and procedures. He is passionate about finding this missing girl. It's suspenseful, a bit chaotic and fun.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog.