Monday, April 25, 2011

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

This book is nominated for the 2011-2012 VSBA. I am starting to read them early!

I picked this one up first because I thought it looked like a historical fiction novel. I read the blurb on the book; it sounded like a teen love story, but nothing really to go on. As soon as I got into this book, I discovered that it is actually a work of science fiction. This is not my favorite genre, but I really enjoyed this book. It reminds me broadly of Stephenie Meyer's The Host in that it is a sci-fi story based on setting, but it is really a modern teen love story based on the plot.

This is the story of Dane, the rich son of a major leader in the universe, and Aerin, the fugitive daughter of a rogue trader. Based on their performance on an entrance exam, they are both placed in the most prestigious school in the universe: Academy 7. Dane needs to be there to be away from the shadow of his family and Aerin needs to be there because she has nowhere else to go. Initially the two conflict, but then...

I really did enjoy this book. On her webpage, the author states that this is part of a trilogy in her mind. I hope she publishes the rest!

I am hoping to change the format of our book club next year and, with the help of Limitless Libraries, have all of us read the same title at the same time. If we do, I really appreciate Anne Osterlund's posting questions on her webpage:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

This is a classic that I had never read. Both Gwen and Susan had recently mentioned it to me, so I took that as a sign to pick it up. It is one of those modern classics that I had not read (like The Witch of Blackbird Pond that I did not read until I was in my 20s; I've told Susan to read it).
I have now passed this book on to my Dad. He recently told me that there was a German POW camp near his hometown of Buhl, ID. Of course, he didn't know about it at the time (since he was born in 1942!). You can read about Camp Rupert at
This is the story of 12-year-old Patty Bergen, a Jewess in small-town Arkansas and her encounter with Anton, a German POW in the camp near her town.
This book is well-written. There are so many inferences to be made; I think it would be great for a 7-9th grade student.
I cried in several places when I felt that Patty was misunderstood by her family. The writing in those places is bare and painful. I would just be in tears thinking of things I wanted to say to her daddy.
If you read this or have read it in the past, please discuss the comparison of Patty's father to Hitler. Patty and Anton have a brief discussion about this. I also think that the discussion of how Hitler came to power can be compared to how it became acceptable for Patty's father to abuse her (gradual acceptance).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

This is the last book Suzanne Supplee has out right now. I plan to read any others when they come out.
Premise: This is the story of a girl from Starling, Tennessee (fictional location) who comes to Nashville (REAL location) to make it in country music. Once again with Supplee, this is no extraordinary tale; everything in this book could really happen. It is relatable, and that is why I like it. Sure, the occasional vampire novel is nice for escapism, but girls need these stories. Girls need to find themselves in a novel and see a life that is real.
Question: What dream did you have that you never accomplished? I wanted to study abroad, but I never did.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Irish Guys Are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee

I REALLY like Suzanne Supplee...I've even sent her fan email...and she writes back! Here is an interview with her:,,1000070368,00.html?sym=QUE. Her website can be found at I am currently reading her book Somebody Everybody Listens To.

This is a breezy novel in a series I didn't know existed: Students Across the Seven Seas. I am glad to discover this series because not every teen girl wants to date a vampire or really be a fairy. I think it is kind of like Sweet Valley High for exchange students. They can be found at I am trying to get them ordered by Limitless Libraries for our school's library!

I sometimes toy with the idea of writing. I had that bad experience with the writing competition a few months back, but I am still VERY happy with my short story that came of it. I have an idea for a book of similar short stories...maybe that will happen this summer. What I like about Supplee is that her stories are real. I have another idea for a novel I've been toying with but afraid to start it because it was just real, as opposed to extraordinary. Maybe I'll write it anyway.