Book Voting and Blog Updates

I hate writing posts about updates.  I really do.  They’re boring, so I decided to combine the boring with something fun.  Which do you want first, the blog updates or the book voting?  That’s like asking whether you want the good or bad news first.  There is only one good answer to that question; you want the bad news first.  That way, you have something to look forward to.  I’m going to assume you want something to look forward to, and I will start this post off with the blog updates.  

I have a new theme.  I have nothing against the old one, but my header image looks better with this theme.  I have a new header image.  These facts were mentioned in my previous post, but I decided to let you know again.  I am also going to try to get back on a regular posting schedule.  This is going to be hard, seeing as I’m leaving on vacation for two weeks starting August fifth.  I’ll do my best while on vacation to blog regularly.  Finally, I present to you the last update.  I’m going to be updating my Page of Polls today or tomorrow.  Most likely today, so I want you to mosey on over there and check it out.  No really, go.  Leave.  You can come back when you’re done filling out delightful polls.  Are you gone?  Good. 

Now, for the book voting.  What is this?  Basically, I give you a summary of some books, and after reading all of them you vote on the ones you want to read the most.  It sounds simple because it is.  I did not write these summaries because I have not read these books.  I’m asking you to see which books you’d like me to read first. 

Jumping the Nail- Eve Bunting

Has a parent ever used phrases with you like: “If your friends wanted to jump off a cliff, would you?” Dru’s friends are doing just that – jumping off cliffs. A group of Californian teens gather one afternoon to watch Scooter and his girlfriend, Elisa, jump the Nail. The Nail is a 90-foot cliff that leads down into the ocean and attempting it risks serious injury, and even death. Dru is a good friend of Elisa and she worries about her before and after her “jump,” particularly because Elisa suffers from serious depression. Scooter and Elisa’s feat sparks intense interest among their group of peers and soon others are saying they will jump the Nail. How will Dru deal with this on top of the other pressures of her life? A quick read that leaps right into the plot of the story and holds you till the end.

The Theif Lord- Cornelia Funke

A tale about two young boys, Prosper and Bo, who flee to Venice after being orphaned and dumped in the care of a cruel auntie. Hiding in the canals and alleyways of the city, the boys are befriended by a gang of young urchins and their enigmatic leader, the Thief Lord. From their home base of an old cinema theater, the children steal from the rich to support themselves and soon capture the interest of a bumbling detective. However, a greater threat to the children is something from a forgotten past– a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself…

Just Listen- Sarah Dessen


Annabel Greene used to be the girl who had everything. Just like her two older sisters, Annabel is a gorgeous girl who models for local commercials and print advertisements, and she has the clothes to match. She and her best friend Sophie are invited to all the parties. But then, at a party on the last day of school, Sophie sees (or thinks she sees) Annabel messing around with Sophie’s boyfriend. Suddenly, Annabel is the girl who has nothing — no friends, no reputation. She doesn’t even have her sisters to rely on; Kirsten is off in New York City, while Whitney, who suffers from an eating disorder, has grown sullen and shut out her entire family.

After a difficult summer, Annabel starts the new school year alone. During her lonely lunch hours, she becomes acquainted with Owen Armstrong, a loner who listens constantly to his MP3 player. Kicked out of school the previous year for getting into fights, Owen is back from his anger management classes with a new dedication to honesty. Accustomed to holding back her true feelings instead of risking hurting herself or others, Annabel is at first taken aback when Owen points out the ways she uses language to evade or avoid expressing her true feelings. As Owen pushes Annabel outside her comfort zone, she slowly begins to change, to discover her authentic identity, to maybe gain the courage to confront what really happened that awful night at the party.

Life as We Knew It- Susan Beth

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Crank- Ella Hopkins

Kristina has always been a good girl, until the summer before her senior year of high school, when her life changes forever. While visiting her long lost father, Kristina takes on the persona of Bree. Bree is everything Kristina is not – wild, flirty, bold. Bree quickly gets caught up in a world of parties and romance, and begins doing crystal meth, otherwise known as crank. Even after she returns home to the quiet suburbs, Kristina/Bree continues on her downward spiral into addiction. Author Ellen Hopkins’ use of free verse poetry pushes the plot forward, creating a sense of urgency that mirrors Kristina’s growing need for crank. Crank is an emotional page-turner that is, frighteningly, all too realistic.

Life on the Refrigerator Door- Alice Kuipers

Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don’t know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity; Claire’s mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door. When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change. Forced to reevaluate the delicate balance between their personal lives and their bond as mother and daughter, Claire and her mother find new love and devotion for one another deeper than anything they had ever imagined.

Keeping Corner- Kashmira Sheth

Leela, a 12 year-old Indian girl living with her family in the rural village of Jameel, in the Indian state of Gujarat in 1918.  Leela’s family is Brahman, the highest caste in India’s strict class system.  At 2 she was engaged to Ramanlal, a young boy from another Brahman family.  At nine they were married, though Leela would continue to live with her family on their estate until her anu, a ceremony officially welcoming the girl into her new family.  Just months before her anu, Ramanlal is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies.  This makes Leela a child widow.  According to her caste, she must shave her head, wear only the widow’s chidri, and stay in the house for a year, keeping corner for her dead husband.  Leela, who had been a happy, rather spoiled young girl with a love for fashion and jewelry, quickly falls into despair, wondering how she can live the rest of her life being shunned by her community for being bad luck.  She finds help and solace in her brother, Kanubhai, her teacher Saviben, a lower caste woman named Shani, and ultimately in Gandhi’s non-violent movement to overthrow the English occupying their country.

Thanks so much for voting!


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