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    1. Tangerine
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    2. Venus and Serena: Serving From
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    3. Nothing But The Truth: A Documentary
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    4. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
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    1. Tangerine
    by Edward Bloor
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439286034
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Signature
    Sales Rank: 7848
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Paul Fisher¹s older brother has always been the football-playing hero of the family. But when the Fishers move to Tangerine, Florida, Paul enters a place where weird is normal. And suddenly the blind can see. TANGERINE as named a 1997 American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, an ALA Top-Ten Best Book, a Horn Book Fanfare Book, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and an Edgar Award Nominee. ... Read more

    Reviews (311)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Peter Pan
    Genre = Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
    Tangerine
    Edward Bloor
    6th - 8th grade

    Paul Fisher is a 12 year old boy who has just recently moved with his family from Houston, TX to Tangerine,FL. The town is smaller then Houston and the people seem all the same. Paul's older brother Erik, the star football player, finds himself right at home in Tangerine because of the extreme passion for football in the area. Paul feels that his parents pay more attention to Erik than they do to him and his soccer career. Paul attempts to play for his school soccer team but because of his visual impairment, supposedly involving an incident where Paul stared at an eclipse, he is not able to play. When Paul sees the oppurtunity to go to a new school he jumps at it. When he starts befriending people at his new school, a downward spiral of unspeakable events begins to unfold. If you want to find out what happens to Paul and his family, read Tangerine by Edward Bloor.

    I would recommend this book very much to anyone looking for a good story full of rich imagery. This story shows people how it is to be visually impaired and tells a great story all the while. **** out of ***** stars. Also this book can be used in the classroom too. It is a good way to teach description and metaphor to your students. Because of the great character building, you can also do a character analysis activity with it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, is a novel that is not like any book I'v ever read. It tells the story of Paul Fisher, a seventh-grader who has just moved form Houston to Tangerine County, Florida. Paul is legally blind- he has to wear "Coke-bottle" glasses so that he can see. His parents tell people that Paul's eyes were damaged because he didn't listen and stared at a solar eclipse too long. Paul has always been overshadowed by his older brother Erik, placekicker extrodinare. He plays a part in the "Erik Fisher Football Dream"- but just what his part is remains to be seen.

    When Paul moves to Tangerine, everything is different. Lightning knows where to strike. Schools get sucked up by sinkholes. People get killed- and no one really does anything about it. With the help of some friends, Paul sees the truth in things that other people seem blind to. Can Paul finally shake off the shadow of his older brother? In Tangerine, anything is possible.

    Edward Bloor's first novel is well written and the plot keeps moving, keeping you constantly interested. I would reccommend it to any young adult looking for a good read.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Let down by the touted Tangerine. WARNING: SPOILERS!
    I finally read this after having many people recommend it to me. I was pretty disappointed in the book for several reasons. One, I did not find the writing that great. I felt it needed to be edited, probably by 100 pages or so. There are so many repetitive passages, such as Paul trying to remember over and over how he became legally blind as a small child. Also, the plot wanders at many times, with too many quirks. Mud fires, lightning, and sinkholes all occur in this small town much too frequently, leading the reader to wonder, *WHY* would anyone ever move there?!

    The main reason I was disappointed in the book, though, was the plot line with the older brother, Eric Fisher, the football star. Erik is a star football kicker with many dark secrets. In the end, he is exposed, Paul's parents express their regret, and life is good.

    Having grown up with a violent sibling, I know that the family dynamic is never "cured" so easily. A lot of times, parents are aware of what their children are up to, but simply feel helpless. The Fisher family are all characterized as one-dimensional, and therefore, any problems and resolutions simply feel like a nice little tale, not reality.

    My advice, avoid this well-intended but disasterous book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book since "Holes"
    Here's a blow by blow of my experiences while reading, "Tangerine". After twenty pages I said to myself, "Hm! The man can really write!". After fifty pages I said, "Wow! This book is as good as 'Holes'!". After one hundred and fifty pages I was fully engrossed. After two hundred and fifty pages I was bodily grabbing people off of the street, forcing copies into their hands while chanting something along the lines of, "One of the greatest kid's books ever written!", or words to that extent. Now that I've finished the book and given myself a little time to reflect I can clearly decide whether or not this initial euphoria was short lived or not. Ladies and gentlemen, I am more than a little pleased to report that I was right all along. "Tangerine" is one of the greatest children's books to be written in the last ten years. It is brilliant, socially conscious, filled to the brim with sympathetic (and uniquely unsympathetic) characters, and funny to boot.

    Paul Fisher is moving again. His father is a civil engineer by trade, so Paul's a little used to picking up and leaving for the next town. In this particular case, the family's moving to Florida to live in a gated community. Once there, each member will be able to start doing what they enjoy best. His brother, Erik, will continue to wow everyone with his football skills, his father will continue to worship those skills and spend all his time with his eldest, his mother will join the community's neighborhood association, and Paul will join his school's soccer team. Paul's a goalie by training, and despite his eye troubles (he has almost zero peripheral vision due to a mysterious accident in his youth) he's the best. Not like anyone notices, of course. The rest of the family is too caught up in what Paul has wryly dubbed the Erik Fisher Football Dream. The fact that Erik is a seriously disturbed individual seems to go entirely unseen by Paul's parents and it becomes clear that when his brother's activities go from threatening to criminal, Paul's the only one who can come out with the truth. Along the way he has to battle lightning storms, sinkholes, underground fires, flash frosts, and angry neighborhood associations.

    That's the plot in its barest form. As I've copied it down here, I haven't even begun to delve into the fact that Paul transfers himself from his local hoity-toity school in the suburbs to a far more rough and tumble public facility. He makes friends with the kids in that school, faces racism on the part of his old school chums, and begins to understand a little more about white privilege. What other school age novel deals with racism, classism, social consciousness, and environmental concerns and so well at that? The precarious nature of Paul's new home becomes clearer and clearer when expensive koi fish are eaten by the native ospreys, muck fires spring up regularly in the backyard, and termites start eating the houses. The more the humans attempt to bend nature to their will, the funnier the situations become. This would not be a bad book to pair with the similarly Florida set story, "Hoot".

    I was a little surprised at the psychopathic nature of Paul's brother. Having just finished reading Diana Wynne Jones's excellent, "Archer's Goon", which contains the most evil little sister in literature, I was amazed to find that my next book, "Tangerine", contains the world's worst elder brother. Erik and his brother have exactly one conversation in this entire novel. Beyond that, all we know of Erik comes from Paul's slowly clearing memories about the accident that damaged his sight and Erik's own actions. As Paul's parents strive to prove that they're a perfect family, things become worse and worse. I liked that Paul was as mature a kid as he was. Though he certainly says words and thoughts that are a little old for a seventh grader, you feel safe with him as your narrator. When he overreacts, you understand why. The same goes for when he doesn't react at all.

    I'll skip telling you about the symbolism that also went into this tale. Needless to say, if you've a kid that needs to read a book that's rife with it, just pick this one out. I'm still amazed that this was Edward Bloor's first novel. The level of the writing is not only impressive, but also intense. This is the first book I've read (outside, I'll admit, of Harry Potter) that actually made me interested in sports. I loved reading about Paul's soccer games and how he compares them to football. Best of all are the characters in this tale. Even Paul's parents, horribly flawed but earnest, are at least trying to be good people. The book is, above all, honest. And I appreciated that.

    The highest praise I can offer "Tangerine" is this: Long after I finished a chapter or two I would find myself puzzling over the multiple meanings and layers of the text. Whole sentences and ideas kept popping up to be reread and regurgitated. If you want a children's book that will make you think about a host of different ideas and points of view, read "Tangerine".

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Sally Pickles
    Genre: Contemporary Realistic Ficton
    Title: Tangerine
    Author: Edward Bloor
    Publisher/ ISBN: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 0-439-28603-4
    Grade Level: grades 6th-8th
    Gist: Paul is a twelve year old boy who has recently moved to Tangerine Florida. Paul lives wih his dad, mom , and older brother. Paul plays soccer and his brother Erik is a bug time football star. Paul enrolls in a new school and begins making new friends. Everthing seems to be going fine until a series of bad events begin to take place. If you want to know what happens to Paul and his family then read Tangerine. It is a great book and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
    I would recommend this book because it is very realistic. It shows that anything can happen that you least expect. It is also scary and keeps you on the tip of your seat. All together it is a great book and I hope you read it.
    Classroom Uses: You ould do many activities with this book some of the thigns could be; a sinkhole activity where you find out how a sinkhole works. Also, you could do a character analysis activity. This would help you if you were a teacher. ... Read more


    2. Venus and Serena: Serving From The Hip : 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning
    by Hilary Beard, Venus Williams, Serena Williams
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618576533
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-22)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 4739
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Venus and Serena Williams have something to say. But it isn"t all about tennis. It"s about life and how to play it.

    These superstars and super sisters share their secrets in this straight-talking smart guide. Speaking candidly about their personal experiences, the sisters give you the inside scoop on:

    • What it takes to rise and stay on top.
    • Who watches their backs when the pressure is on.
    • How they spend—and save—their money.
    • Dating—their real deal on romance.
    • Book smarts—keeping grades up and study stress down.
    • Loving the skin you"re in.

    This book offers solid advice for getting an advantage in every game you play.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Shunning Allowed
    Hilary Beard is a Philadelphia journalist who you can trust implicitly, she has a great even voice.Her previous book was the life story of enterpreneur Lisa Price, the woman who came back from financial ruin to found CAROL'S DAUGHTER the great herbal essence success story.Lisa got to meet many celebrities, in fact she knew them before they got big, and her cosmetic prescriptions, learned from her mother and Trinidadian family, helped Erykah Badu and Jada Pinkett among others,

    Venus and Serena, who have collaborated with Hilary Beard on her new book, were famous when they were still girls, so their trajectory is somewhat different than that of Lisa Price, who struggled for artistic and commercial validation for many years and told the story in the fabulous SUCCESS NEVER SMELLED SO SWEET.Hilary Beard, who lost her father several years back, was drawn to the Williams sisters partly because of the strong guidance each received from their dad, a bittersweet association for Beard that accounts for some of the strongest writing in this book, SERVING FROM THE HIP.An avid tennis player, Beard knows what she's talking about, and she can help the Williams sisters structure a book and add depth to their insights about their own game.

    Whether or not you're a Jehovah's Witness, this book has something for everyone, so don't shun the Williams girls just because their faith is a little bit different than yours!That's what America is all about--or it used to be!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for teens and fans of Venus and Serena!
    After seeing Venus and Serena on the Oprah show, I decided to get this book and I'm glad I did.The book talks about many of their on-court experiences so if you're a fan of Venus and Serena and have followed their careers since the mid 90's, you'll find out fascinating tidbits about their reactions to incidents on the WTA Tour.I also bought a copy for a friend's 11 yr. old daughter so as you can see this book is a great conversation-starter for parents and their daughters.All-around, well done.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Teaches Children JEHOVAH'S WITNESS CULT Religious Philosophy
    Great Book if you want your Child to grow up to be a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS. The Williams Sisters should stick to writing books in which they use their tennis background and experience to teach children the fundamentals of playing the game of tennis.This Williams Sisters book, which purports to teach children the fundamentals of life, is actually a disguised attempt to teach children the fundamental religious philosophy of their own JEHOVAH'S WITNESS religion. People who are reared as Jehovah's Witnesses have been taught only one set of "rules for living, loving, and winning", and those are the rules of the WatchTower Cult.If you want your children to grow up to be door-to-door WatchTower salespersons then SAVE YOUR MONEY and simply ask the next Jehovah's Witness who wakes you up on Saturday morning for a FREE copy of the WatchTower Society's guide for rearing children as Jehovah's Witnesses.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Motivational and Inspiring!

    I'm not a tennis fan, but you don't have to be to enjoy this book.

    While the target audience is teenage girls, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I'm a middle-aged woman!

    It's easy to read, full of insight into the lives and motivations of Serena and Venus, and has great advice for teenage girls on dating and other issues important to adolescents. I especially liked their emphasis on the need for self-esteem.

    I agree with the reviewer who questioned the so-called reviewers who lambasted the book, since nothing in their "reviews" indicated they've read it!

    I think Serena and Venus (and their co-author, Hilary Beard) did a wonderful job, and I encourage anyone with a teenage girl to run out and buy this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for adults as well as young girls!
    Wow . . . I can't believe the haters who have weighed in on this book! And nothing in their "reviews" indicate they've even read it!
    "Venus and Serena . . ." is a well-written but easy read, doling out lifestyle advice and guidance for young girls and giving insight to the motivations behind decisions made by Venus and Serena. It details why their parents decided to pull them out of certain tours (I was surprised and delighted by the explanations), and how those decisions led to other life decisions.
    I bought the book for my 17-year-old daughter, but sat down and read the whole thing. Feeling guilty, I ran out and bought another copy for my daughter. This is a book that I didn't mind buying twice.
    I LOVED their advice on dating, and how girls need to love themselves first. The book is BIG on the importance of self-esteem.
    I found "Venus and Serena . . ." to be motivational and insightful, and I highly recommend it.
    ... Read more


    3. Nothing But The Truth: A Documentary Novel
    by Avi
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 038071907X
    Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 41669
    Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Patriotism or practical joke?

    Harrison, NH -- Ninth-grade student Philip Malloy was suspended from school for singing along to The Star-Spangled Banner in his homeroom, causing what his teacher, Margaret Narwin, called "a disturbance." But was he standing up for his patriotic ideals, only to be squelched by the school system? Was Ms. Narwin simply trying to be a good teacher? Or could it all be just a misunderstanding gone bad -- very bad? What is the truth here? Can it ever be known?

    Heroism, hoax, or mistake, what happened at Harrison High changes everything for everyone in ways no one -- least of all Philip -- could have ever predicted.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (445)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Book!
    I read Nothing But The Truth by Avi. I found the book to be very entertaining and a great example of real life. The book is about a boy named Phillip. During homeroom they play the Star Spangled Banner and Phillip started humming to annoy his teacher. He feels an animosity toward her because he is failing English. Ms. Narwin, who is also Phillip's English teacher, sent him out of homeroom two days in a row. The assistant principal ends up suspending him for being a disturbance in class. His parents think its ridiculous that their son can't participate in a random act of patriotism. The issue becomes nationwide. Reporters start writing biased articles and the story gets totally twisted.

    This book is a great example of how a story can get twisted if everyone doesn't tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. I enjoyed the book a lot. It's written in documentary form with memos, letters, and conversations. I highly recommend this book for 12 year olds and up because of some hard vocabulary. It's a quick and enjoyable read! I hope you will read it soon!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the Truth
    Do you like books that tell you about a disrespectful student that does not stop singing or humming to the Star Spangled Banner? Or having your parents on your side because of it? Well I think that you will absolutely love this book its called Nothing but the Truth by Avi.
    14-year-old Philip Malloy lives in New Hampshire and goes to the Harrison high school where he starts his so called "patriotism". During his 9th grade year Philip starts to be disrespectful to the teacher at least that's what she thinks. The reason how Philip is being disrespectful is that the national anthem comes on in the morning on the intercom and tells the students to stand at a respectful and silent attention while they play the song
    Philip sings or hums along with it and the teacher sends him to the assistant principal.

    Then it becomes like a snowball effect and gets bigger and bigger because Phil and his father go to their neighbor's house and his name is Ted Griffin he is almost part of the school board. He knows a person that is an education reporter called Ms.Stewart. Phil tells her the whole story and she tries to contact all of the people that are involved in it like the superintendent the principal the assistant principal and Ms.Narwin they all tell her that it is all wrong that they did not suspended Phil for singing the star spangled banner. Ms.Stewart publishes the story and then it goes on the radio and everything is ballistic! So if you want to read this exiting book and know how it ends then read Nothing but the truth by Avi. by jonathan

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very important lesson
    I find the title "Nothing but the Truth" to be cleverly ironic, as this book actually demonstrates a minor dispute's descent into a political arena where "Anything but the Truth" would more acurately describe the situation. Some reviewers have claimed that this book is repetative. It is true that readers are presented with information over and over again, but it is never quite the same. The purpose is to show how the story gets twisted each time it's re-told. How the same event comes to be described in two incredibly different ways, neither of which is accurate, depending on what each side has to gain or lose. In the huge mess that's created, no one knows the true story anymore. More importantly, no one cares.

    That is the heart of the story. The school at first only cares about Phillip disobeying (That's his real crime: disobeying an arbitrary rule. Not humming.) and then only about covering their own butts by making it sound like Phillip deserved his harsh punishment by making up a fake crime so no one will find out that his only 'crime' was refusing to mindlessly conform. Phillip and his parents at first only care about defending him against a tyrannical bureaucracy, but later his father also cares about pumping himself up by making false claims of Phillip's virtue in to counter the false claims of his depravity. Everyone else latches onto one of the false claims, seeing Phillip as saint or sinner. From the beginning, no one cares about the truth.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Boring Most of the Time
    First off let me tell you this is a documentary novel that has documents, notes files, etc. that are sometimes are really boring. The dialogue is in play form, so my calss acted it out. It's hard to follow. But it's funny and if your a teen you can relate somewhat. This was an unrealistic book, as you will see in the following text:

    Now this book wasn't so bad, but I was reading it with my class. We were acting out the different parts. This made it MUCH easier to follow. Otherwise you'll start to think about whether you left the coffe-pot on or something and have to reread a page.

    Philip Malloy is a young boy who hums along with the Star Spangeled Banner. His teacher, that he hates for giving bad grades (Which he deserves), sends him to the principal's office for "singing", so she says, the SSB. Philip is a big crybaby about ho he gets bad grades and is kicked off the track team. No one would really send a kid to the Principals Office for humming the SSB. And it wouldn't make national news, which does infact happen. I was wondering what the point was of this book until the last page... which was a funny, yet annoying ending, leaving you feeling unfinished with the story and wanting to look for the next page. There is none, which made me mad.

    Yet, this book was interesting nonetheless and a quick, easy-read. Check it out at the library BEFORE you buy it... if you even wanna read it again...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the Truth
    Chris Skorusa

    Nothing but the Truth

    Reading II

    Summary

    Was there ever a day you woke up and thought it was going to be a good day but it wasn't? From That one day your whole week has changed it seamed like it could never get better. Nothing but the Truth is like it. The book is manly about a student named Philip Malloy. Philip is a Freshman at Harrison High. The first couple days of school were fine but there was this one teacher named Mss.Narwin. Philip didn't really like her. He wasn't doing too good in the class either he was getting a "D". With the D he wasn't able to try out for track just because he was failing this class. But it didn't get any better he got a memo telling him that his homeroom is switched to Mss.Narwin. That wasn't the smartest thing putting Phillip and Mss.Narwin together. While Philip was in the class he was suspended for humming to the announcements. With the suspension he has received Philip will be getting a lot of people mad.
    Response: I thought this book was very interesting there was always something going wrong. I can tell that the author of book must have spent a lot of time making this book. The book is written in dialogue from so you always know who is talking. There are also parts where you get to read Philip's diary and really get to know what Philip is thinking and what his emotions are. This book is really good at giving you a mental image of the story. There were some parts of the book that made me mad. Like how mad the teacher got just for humming and that everyone turned on him for not doing anything? But at the end of the book it all makes sense. I would rate this book 8 out of 10. Just because there was some situations that I don't think could really happened in life. But everything else was good. ... Read more


    4. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
    by CHRIS CRUTCHER
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440229383
    Catlog: Book (2002-12-10)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 49730
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway. A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant), the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to find their places in a school that has no place for them. T.J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket–exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T.J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High–will also be an effective tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong. Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets soon becomes the space where they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to grow. Together they’ll fight for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment’s inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us. ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
    Chris Crutcher builds a story about challenging the status quo and finding the common humanity that unites those who believe they are alone in the world. The Tao, or T.J., grows up in Washington where racism dominates the town. T.J. attends Cutter High School where they are known for their respectable athletic program. One of the prize symbols to wear is an athletic jacket earned in a sport. Mike Baubour, a known enemy of T.J., tries to prevent Chris, less fortunate than many, from wearing his dead brother's letter jacket. T.J. fights to organize a male swim team. After he finds his teammates, including Chris, he sets up the criteria for earning a letter. This stirs up controversy among the Athletic Council, and finally come to a conclusion: each swimmer must better there time every meet to earn a letter. T.J.'s determination throughout the novel sets him above the pride of Cutter's athletic program and sets him in each teammates pride. T.J. is determined to achieve success for each one of his teammates, which would equal success to him. This book shows great teamwork, pride, and success when not everything comes easy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
    The book Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful book for all religions and races. That is because in the book T.J. is black, Japanese, and white, but in school he is mostly considered black. One day T.J. spots all-school jock Mike Barbour picking on Chris Coughlin, a retard whose dead brother is the best athlete in the school ever, for wearing his brother Brian's letter jacket. So, T.J. decides that he will get Chris a jacket of his own. He does that be creating a swim team. Meanwhile T.J. is visiting a woman who helps kids with family problems. T.J has become more of a teacher than a student. He gets involved with a father that really dislikes T.J. The daughter adores T.J. so the family, minus the father moves in with them. T.J.'s family continues to get a lot of hang up calls which they know is the father. In the swimming world, T.J. gets 6 unique guys to go out for the team. T.J. is by far the best swimmer. The team gets a practice facility and an interim coach, Icko who lives at the workout place, until the teacher Simet can get permission. Practices are hard, but usefull as the team improves greatly. The team does horrible in the season, except for T.J. who wins the 50 meter and the 100 meter at regoinals. The team keeps on getting questions on weather swimming is a sport which might deny their privilege to a Cutter jacket. The book ends with many controversial decisions made by both sides. I believe the author, Chris Crutcher wrote about the book to teach the world about racism. He wants to show how it is tearing the modern world apart. Whale Talk is a wonderful book for teens and adults. Children should not be allowed to read the book because of some profane language and sexual harasment. They also will not get the idea about racism and prejudice. Teens, on the other hand, will understand the book and it will teach them about modern conflicts. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful for teens and adults.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Got a whale of a tale to tell you friends...
    A good book rises above its own premise. Reading a short synopsis of this story without knowing anything about it beyond its plot could easily suggest to the average viewer that it's going to be awful. Think about it. A multi-racial protagonist and his motley crew of rag tag misfits puts together an unlikely swim team and everybody learns a little bit about what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Bleaugh! That's the kind of After School Special plotting that can get a book seriously ignored by its intended audience. Now I had never read a Chris Crutcher book coming into this. Frankly, I know the man has a reputation for producing darned good books. Then I read "Whale Talk" and found, to my incredible relief, that this was not really a book about a swim team. It's about the circle of abuse and the amount of control an individual has over his or her own actions. It's about hurting other people and what the cost of that can be. In short, the book takes amazingly gigantic themes, renders them bite size, and gives them humanity and humor. It's the humor part that really impressed me.

    T.J. Jones (actual name The Tao Jones... pronounce it, I dare you) is probably one of three people of color in his small Washington town. Adopted by his parents when he was a seriously abused toddler, T.J.'s a pretty well put together kid. That's probably in no small part due to his amazing mom and dad and his fantastic (some might say godlike) child therapist, Georgia. Which isn't to say that T.J.'s life is bereft of odd problems. His favorite teacher, Simet, is trying to lure T.J. into helping him start a school swim team. There are a couple problems with this plan. For one thing, T.J. refuses to join any organized sports. Cutter High School is run by and for its jocks. These jocks have been trying for years (unsuccessfully) to get T.J. onto one of their teams. Also, the school has no swimming pool. So T.J. isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of getting roped into this situation until he sees some of the local heavies beating up a mentally handicapped kid because he refuses to stop wearing his dead jock brother's letter jacket. Suddenly our hero has a mission, and the mission is clear. To create a swim team comprised of the kind of guys who otherwise could never be able to get involved in an organized sport. Even better, he's going to get each and every one of them a letter jacket.

    This is just the barest of outlines describing this book. T.J. has a lot going on in his life and this includes his father's guilt about accidentally killing a toddler some thirty years before, a girl who tries continually to wash her skin clean of pigment, her psychotic father who is both a wife abuser and T.J.'s enemy, and a team that becomes closer as their problems become clearer. This is truly a book written about a man for men. Which isn't to say that girls won't love this tale, or that it's bereft of strong female characters. In fact, Crutcher is especially good at balancing women who've been abused in the past with their far stronger counterparts. No, when I say that this is a boy book, I'm referring to the fact that the central focus of this story rests squarely on the male swimming team. Sure, T.J. has a girlfriend but her presence in this story is probably just to prove to the viewer that he's a well adjusted guy with a well adjusted gal. Honestly, his relationship is not the focus of this tale. And that's kinda refreshing.

    I think what I liked best about this book was that it recognized that behind every crazed idiot, there's a reason they act the way they do. Crutcher isn't the best young adult writer that knows about abuse (that honor belongs squarely to Alex Flinn) but he comes close. A person could learn more from reading this book about the cyclical nature of violence than they would from almost any other source. I'm praising the book beautifully, but it's not without the occasional flaw. Consider, for example, the character of Tay-Roy. This is a bodybuilder that joins the team and has, basically, no real personality. As far as I could determine, everything Tay-Roy does could have been accomplished by T.J. They're similar in every respect, except that Tay-Roy's slightly better looking. It's odd that Crutcher would have kept himself from omitting extraneous characters like this one, but as flaws go, this one's pretty minimal. The worst I can say is that it slightly derails the flow of the text. Big whoop.

    What Crutcher has as a writer that puts him heads and tails above and beyond his peers (some, at any rate) is his sense of humor. You cannot dislike a book where the main character is named The Tao Jones. You just can't. I mentioned that I think that Alex Flinn is the all-powerful guru of abused teens, but what Crutcher doesn't have in superior knowledge he makes up for in funnies. I'm sick and tired of all the deadly depressing books out there. If every writer could fill their texts with half as much pleasurable writing as Mr. C, I'd have a heckuva harder time figuring out which book to read next. In the end, "Whale Talk" accomplishes that mighty difficult task of being a good book about a near impossible subject. Abuse. Whether or not you agree that Crutcher wrote about this topic with the correct amount of respect, you have to admit he wrote about it well. I tip my hat to the man who's books I will now have to devour one by one to satiate my now uncontrollable young adult literature craving. Such is life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars english project
    Picture your high school's outcasts, the kids no one talks to and no one really knows. Now imagine if you heard that this motley crew was about to become your high school's new varsity swim team. The same kids who are picked last for every team in gym, who has never been seen near the weight room or the track, who are the last people you would imagine wearing your high school letter jackets. Despite his natural athletic ability, the main character T. J. has always shunned Cutter High School's sports teams because, as he says, "something inside me recoils at being told what to do, and that doesn't sit well with most coaches, who are paid to do exactly that." However, when a favorite teacher asks him to help start a swim team at Cutter, T. J. sees an opportunity to turn the school's narrow idea of what an athlete is, privileged, good-looking, white, and male on its head.
    Chris Crutcher is an excellent writer that keeps you reading. I could not put the book down. The reason why I liked the book so much is that it is dramatic, had a good conflict and kept me reading. Whale Talk is an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING!!!
    I recently read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. It's about a boy, T.J. Jones, who gets together a group of misfits and outcasts to join a swimming team. As usual in Chris Crutcher's books, there's another story behind the sport.
    When I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Crutcher grabs you in this story with ways that sometimes you wouldn't think possible or interesting. He puts together real problems, not just he said-she said stuff, but things much more realistic. This book is definitly worth reading!!! ... Read more


    5. Dove
    by Robin L. Graham
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060920475
    Catlog: Book (1991-03-27)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 26703
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham began a solo around-the-world voyage from San Pedro, California, in a 24-foot sloop. Five years and 33,000 miles later, he returned to home port with a wife and daughter and enough extraordinary experiences to fill this bestselling book, Dove.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A love story and lots of sailing
    Years ago, when I was growing up, I read the account of Robin Lee Graham as the young man who sailed around the world alone, and also got married along the way, in three installments of the National Geographic, circa 1965-1970. These articles so affected me that I also wanted to sail around the world. However, as I read this book it soon became apparent to me that this book is also an account of a true life love story, between Robin and Patti, both with simple values and needs, in sharp contrast to most people who are primarily concerned with money and social status. They were deep in love and would, and did, do anything for each other.

    Robin alone, and later with Patti, sailed to some of the most beautiful places on Earth, I think they must have enough memories for 20 lifetimes. The writing style makes you feel that you are right there with them.

    The pictures included in this book are poor black and white, but as I remember, the National Geographic articles included excellent color photographs, it would do you well to find those issues.

    As for me, I never did get to sail around the world, a little thing called life intervened, the grind and all that! I did take a sailing class through a local university in the summer of '77, even got an "A" in the class, but this pales in comparison to the daring sailing of Robin Graham. Sometimes, during trips to Florida I gaze at ocean-going yachts at wharfs, and yes, the dream is still alive, thanks to Dove

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sixteen year old boy's ocean voyage of discovery in life.
    When I read this book back in the 70's, I was filled with sheer admiration for this young man. Here was a wonderful tale of a sixteen year old boy who set off around the World on a 23 foot sail boat. There was none of the hype that surrounds such ventures nowadays. Robin didn't seek publicity and sponsorship. He was a brave and honest young man who grew up on a venture the majority of us would never dream of taking, he had guts. The voyage had trememdous hardships and delightful romance. I have read and re read this book and still bring out my tattered copy when I need some inspitation. My three sons have all read it at some time or another and my parents were delighted to read about a young man who asked nothing of society for himself, but simply went out and "did his thing". Robin's voyage is an inspiration and the life he and Patty choce for themselves after the voyage was one of spirituality and hope. Thank you Robin. I would love to know what happened to them and where are they now?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book can change your life
    My mother gave me this book 2 months after starting sailing in a tiny boat age 11. I had no idea aboat ocean sailing and had never left the British Isles. Robin inspired me. From that moment on although I hadn't realised it I was following a different path. Now 15 years later I have left the office behind and work as a professional sailor on a tropical island.

    Yes, Dove is written in a simple style, but that shouldn't detract from your reading pleasure. Robin paints wonderful pictures - you just let your imagination fill in the spaces.

    Parents: I recommend passing this to your children, just be aware of what may happen!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Read at your own risk!
    Robin Graham's account of his voyage
    around the world in a small boat
    is responsible for many a youngster
    (and a few not-so-youngsters!)
    chucking their jobs and sailing away to paradise.
    The stuff of dreams, this voyage is narrated
    by a courageous, insightful, and articulate sailor.
    You won't be trading this book in
    when you visit your local used book store!
    It's a keeper.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intangible Wealth Found at Journey's End
    Lately I've been reading books about great sea adventures, some of which for the second or third time. Among them are Robin Lee Graham's Dove, the story of his journey around the world in a 24 foot sloop begun when he was only sixteen. Also, Joshua Slocum's classic adventure Sailing Alone Around the World. Just now I'm reading Apsley Cherry-Garard's The Worst Journey In the World, named by National Geographic last year as one of the greatest adventure stories ever written. I am drawn to this genre because of my work and travels in more than 80 countries and my journey around the world in 1999, most of the way as a lone passenger aboard a modern freighter. It is to Robin Lee Graham's credit that his book is now still in print for 31 years and that it is among the classics recommended in home schooling for young adults. In the last chapter of the book, still uncertain of his future, he writes that he and his young wife, Patti, begin to read the Bible together: "Our finding a belief in God - becoming Christians - was a slow thing.... We want to work out our lives in the way God intended us to. In reading the Bible together we were fascinated by the prophecies made two thousand years and more ago, prophecies which seemed to be coming true, like the Jews returning to their own country. We have no idea where these new thoughts and ideas and practices will take us.... But we are open to whatever direction God will give us. Our belief is simple. It is the belief that so many of our own generation are discovering - a belief that God isn't dead as some of the older generation have told us. In a world that seems to be going crazy we are learning that Jesus showed men the only way they should live - the way we were meant to live." Graham's voyage brought him immense intangible wealth -- a companion for life and the wisdom of discovering a Shepherd for all eternity. Highly recommended. ... ... Read more


    6. Summerland
    by Michael Chabon
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786808772
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Miramax
    Sales Rank: 20581
    Average Customer Review: 3.72 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    In Summerland, his first novel for young readers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon attempts an American Narnia. Inspired by Lewis and Tolkien, he's created his own magical landscape on which to paint a sweeping fantasy quest, but mixes the same ingredients--folklore and new inventions--in a distinctively American way.

    The plot is simple and pure, but takes a long time to tell. The setting is Clam Island, Washington, specifically the area on the western tip of the island known as the Summerlands, which enjoys zero rainfall and yearlong fine weather. Ethan Feld, a self-described really bad ball player, is recruited by a 100-year-old scout called Mr. Chiron "Ringfinger" Brown. Ethan is needed to help the ferishers, essentially fairies, to save their world from eradication. On the great infinite tree of worlds, Summerland is on the boundary between two such worlds, and a particularly destructive fairy called Coyote and his band of warriors are nearby and threatening to destroy everything.

    Heroes are desperately needed to counter this threat, and their journey involves a lot of baseball, but also encounters with giants, bat-winged goblins, sea monsters, and assorted cunning magic. The novel features an ensemble cast of equal parts that shine and fade in turn, and yet the undoubtedly fine writing fails to mask the enormity and complexities of the world in which they travel, and the bad guys getting their comeuppance always seems so far away. Readers need to savor every word in Summerland to extract the best flavors from it. (Ages 10 and older.) --John McLay, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

    Reviews (96)

    5-0 out of 5 stars More Magic by Michael
    It was always apparent that Michael Chabon had a fantasy novel in him. From the vivid imagery of the Cloud Factory in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" through the fact/fiction world of Kavalier and Clay, Chabon's ability to create worlds with words has been unparralled in so called "modern fiction". What's suprising is the ease with which he leaps from serious writing to whimsical storytelling, without missing a beat.
    "Summerland" was rumored to be a book for youths, but the crisp language and artful plotline are hallmark Chabon. Set in parallel worlds of Little League baseball, the story speaks to the kid in all of us that doesn't have all the talent, but finds in the end that faith can put tickmarks on the scorecard. Ethan Feld, the hero of "Summerland" is clearly a younger version of Art from "Mysteries", playing a part he feels wholly unsuited for, yet Chabon doesn't allow him to fail. One of my favorite things about Chabon's writing is his method of creating this type of character, and then nurturing him through rough waters. The other role players in this story include a legendary baseball bat ("Splinter"), ferishers, a werefox (a play on Chabon's Werewolves in Their youth?)and other fantasy sorts that are richly drawn and highly stylized. Ethan's friend, Jennifer T. Rideout is also a great character, with a knowledge of baseball lore that accompanies a golden throwing arm, and she is probably Chabon's best female creation to date (sorry Phlox), owing to her youth and love of baseball.
    By the time you reach the "Home" section of this 500 page novel, you are reminded why, if you are a fan of his, you love Chabon's writing. His stories always close neatly, and leave you wondering just what happens to his cast on page 501. He's truly one of our greatest writers, and "Summerland" is a worthy successor to his achievements to date.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Clever, Imaginative Story Telling
    I would have given it five stars if I loved baseball or if this book gave me a love of baseball but I do appreciate the author's, Michael Chabon, intense and passionate love of the game. A book for kids is the perfect follow-up to the wonderful Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay and it shows the author's gift for narrative to be as strong as ever and the story moves swiftly and breathlessly. The imaginary worlds he creates in Summerland come as more of a surprise, as they are both fresh and familiar as the same time. It may lack the sense of wonder of the Harry Potters or the complexities of His Dark Materials but it touches elements of both and brings in a little Americanism (reminiscent of Baum) along with it. He has turned the national sport into the stuff of myths and legends and turned the stuff of myths and legends into daily life. It is both a rollicking adventure story and a sweet meditation on story telling with (its only drawback to this non-fan) a lot of baseball. It is truly a modern American fairy tale.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
    Good fantasy/childrens' authors (Rowling, Tolkien, L'Engle, Ende, Lewis, etc.) twist or bend reality to reveal new worlds. In contrast, Chabon uses a blunt force trauma approach.

    For example, there is a special creature (Cutbelly) who can travel from "Summerland" to "Winterland" and other worlds. Cutbelly can take the protagonist (Ethan) with him. Cutbelly dies or gets injured (reader can't tell) and Ethan simply picks up a really smart/nerdy grade school classmate to perform the complex task of navigating between worlds/dimensions. No explanation given as to how this seemingly normal gradeschool child without magical abilities can do this.

    Characters, save one or two, did little to endear themselves to the reader.

    The Ultimate Fatal Flaw: Chabon rather randomly creates characters, plot points, situations and worlds without adequate grounding, explanation, or motivation.

    Unfortunately, I rarely read fiction (almost always reading work-related nonfiction) --- so this book was to be my "Summer" treat.

    Avoid the dissapointment.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Summerland - makes me feel fine.
    When you think of fantasy books in which characters band together to go on a mysterious quest, you think of one place. Britain. Most quest stories for children either are written by Brits or take place (as in the case of Lloyd Alexander's "Prydain Chronicles") in a European setting. Honestly, the most notable exception to this rule is also the oldest. "The Wizard of Oz" is a proudly American tale, beginning in Kansas and continuing in a land that has a particularly Yankee feel to it. So it should come as no surprise that the man to follow in the late great L. Frank Baum's shoes should be none other than Michael Chabon. An author mostly associated with books for adults, he has tried his hand at penning the ultimate American children's fantasy. And to his credit, he nearly succeeds.

    "Summerland" begins on Clam Island where our hero, Ethan Feld, lives with his inventor father. The two are relative newcomers to the isle, but they participate whole-heartedly in the local youth baseball team. Ethan, unfortunately, is a horrendous player. He dislikes the sport and is perfectly aware that he is the reason the team has lost its last seven games. On one particular day, however, Ethan finds himself scouted by a local group of fairies or, as they prefer to be called, ferishers. The ferishers are looking for a hero, and their hero scout has come up with Ethan. Suddenly the boy that couldn't hit a baseball to save his life finds himself in charge of saving the universe in a world that couldn't possibly be any more different from his own.

    First of all, I should state that if you do not like baseball in the least, do not read this book. "Summerland" hinges on the idea that in the Summerlands (a world like and unlike our own to which Ethan travels) baseball is a sport that absolutely everyone plays. Entire civilizations have been destroyed by the designated-hitter rule. Giants are capable of throwing thunder and lightening itself. And in the end, existence itself is decided after nine straight innings. The crazy crew of characters Ethan teams up with become his own private baseball team, and Ethan himself learns how to swing a mighty, if painful, bat.

    I enjoyed all the particularly American aspects of this tale. The ferishers do not look like magical leprechauns or British elves. Instead, they bear some resemblance to Native Americans and they play a mean game of ball. Our heroes come across the ultimate trickster god/villain Coyote, and it is his plans that need to be changed for the world to keep on going. They meet up with a group called the Big Liars, a motley assortment of some of the best tall tale legends ever to walk the American soil. They befriend a sasquatch. What Chabon is doing here is incorporating a variety of enjoyable motifs and images that conjure up some of the most beloved images of the United States itself.

    Which isn't to say the book is entirely a success. There is a definite trend amongst established adult writers these days to switch focus and write for children. Clive Barker, Joyce Carol Oats, Elmore Leonard, etc. Chabon is just the latest author to jump aboard the kiddie lit bandwagon, but he's got a ways to go. After all, it takes a fair amount of skill to successfully pen books that kids will not only read but also enjoy. I can't fault Chabon's ideas, plot, or characters in "Summerland" because they are, one and all, entrancing. That leaves the writing itself, and I'm afraid its just not up to par. Chabon has a nasty habit of not explaining things, a writing style that works perfectly well for adults but is a strain on younger readers. Large shifts in the plot occur from time to time without much in the way of explanation. One of the characters, for example, explains how Coyote promised her a little brother but it turned out badly in the end. A fair amount of guesswork has to go into understanding this speech and when all is said and done it's still fairly unclear. A multitude of different problems like this one sprout up all over the book. It's almost as if Chabon hasn't yet discovered his children's literature voice as of yet.

    There's a lot to love in "Summerland" just the same. Ethan Feld, our reluctant hero, is nothing so much as a slightly modified Charlie Brown. Here we have a character that never succeeds without luck or a vast amount of effort. He doesn't suddenly wake up one morning and decide that he's going to be heroic or superior. And for the most part he's treated exactly like the boy he is by the other characters. Unlike almost every other person in this story, Ethan is completely normal. He has a deep wisdom that surfaces from time to time, but otherwise he's a believable child. A person dissecting this book to pieces might well argue that the entire point of the story can be summarized as, "Magical events teach a boy to love baseball", and that wouldn't be far off. It's the journey that takes him from disenchantment to a steadfast love of the game that makes the novel worth reading. Other touches, like classic Native American folktales, the fate of men that place discovery over reason, and the names of the giants, all combine to make this little epic enjoyable and a stitch.

    It's not perfect, no. It's not. Michael Chabon has some practicing to do before he is included on the list of "Great Crossover Writers For Adults and Children" but he's definitely getting there. He's accomplished something with this book that most writers never come to. He's made an original American fantasy novel. It's no "Wizard of Oz", but it's getting there. And it is definitely worth your time and money to read it. If you like stories where the heroes are good, the villains complex, and the situations dire if not hopeless, read yourself a little "Summerland". It's a pip.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Chabon should go back to writing adult stories
    Summerland by Michael Chabon
    If I had to describe this book in 5 words, it would probably be a spin- off of the Harry Potter series. This book was not one of the best books I have read to say the least. I mean, sure it was "ok" and it did have some originality into it, but it didn't live up to its praise by Publisher's Weekly review stating that "Pulitzer Prize winner Chabon hits a high- flying home run." I wasn't impressed by Chabon's writing; the book didn't hold my attention; the most attention-grabbing parts were the color less pictures at the beginnings of each chapter. This book took me a lot to get into it and nothing to get me out of it. I highly anticipated this book when my 7th grade language teacher told me that after reading "Time Magazine" article on the adult author, Chabon is going to be the next J.K Rowling. But obviously, Chabon should go back to being an adult writer. Chabon is an adult writer so maybe adults would like to read a children's book written by an adult writer, I presume why the ratings for this book are so high. I would find it to be an insult to J.K Rowling's work because her work was being compared to his. Summerland is about a boy, Ethan, who lost his mother at a very young age, (like Harry Potter) and is having trouble playing baseball in which he is forced to play by his father. His Father is an inventor and invented a flying car. At this point the author doesn't clarify if this is in the future, past or present. From there, Ethan meets a creature by the name of Cutebelly and tells him of the other secret worlds in, which he lives in, that nobody knows of which might be vanished by an evil dictator named Coyote. Then Ethan discovered his father mysteriously disappeared (who was really kidnapped by Coyote). Along goes Ethan and friends to stop the evil Coyote from ruling the world(s) and possibly killing his Father by traveling through the worlds using his Father's old flying car and winning baseball games to defeat enemies that cross their path. This book is filled with morals, adventure and sickening amount of baseball games, so many that it makes you literally want to jump out of your chair and get a bat in order to play baseball using the book as a baseball. On a more serious note, I enjoyed how the author incorporated the metaphor of summer having its own world since during the summer it feels like a whole different place. I enjoyed his various and descriptive characters that he put in the book, but it may be overwhelming to some people. This book is arguably bad or good considering the person. My opinion on this book when recommending it would be not to read it, but if you enjoy Michael Chabon as a writer and have an obsession with baseball I would definitely recommend it. ... Read more


    7. The Pigman
    by PAUL ZINDEL
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553263218
    Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
    Publisher: Starfire
    Sales Rank: 16700
    Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    For sophomores John and Lorraine, the world feels meaningless; nothing is important. They certainly can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people. It's during one of these pranks that they meet the "Pigman"--a fat, balding old man with a zany smile plastered on his face. In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon find that they're caught up in Mr. Pignati's zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that's ever mattered to them. Originally published in 1968, this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel still sings with sharp emotion as John and Lorraine come to realize that "Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less." ... Read more

    Reviews (283)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for every High School Teacher!
    Through his style of writing, Paul Zindel makes it easy for anyone to make a connection with the characters. Can you picture a teenager without life dilemmas? Not in today's society, so this is one book you must have every teenager read. In this book, you will meet two dynamic characters- John and Lorraine. They are two sophomores in high school who share with the reader their adventures. John is the typical prankster. Lorraine is his sidekick. Together, they to many things. They drink and smoke at the cemetery, and play practical jokes on people. The famous telephone marathon prank was one prank that changed their lives forever. The Pigman introduces them to a whole new world. Throughout the book, John and Lorraine will encounter themes of love, compassion, and trust. In addition, you will read about the different conflicts they experience. What does John's father wants him to be when he grows up? Why Lorraine's mother hates men? Who is Bobo? When I read this book as an adult, I could not put it down! I found myself becoming part of the story. I strongly encourage every educator to have this become part of your reading collection. If you are not an educator, you should purchase or recommend this book to any teenager you know. They will not be able to thank you enough.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Liberty or License?
    I found the cover of the Paperback version somewhat misleading,
    claiming that the title character was hiding a "Terrible secret" and that society would be "shocked and hurt" by the revelations.
    This was definitely a serious book, but Not the heavy mystery which the publisher (Bantam Starfire) proclaimed. The story is both humorous and pathetic--well worth reading, especially for
    high school kids, who can relate to superficial conversations and disintegrating relationships with their parents.

    Two sophomores who are misfits in some ways team up to play telephone pranks, which is how they meet Angelo Pignati (who
    does not raise pigs). What starts out as a loony, harmless,scam changes into an important and fulfilling relationship for the three of them. One where it is safe and OK to do silly things--like roller skate through a department store--just for the the sheer joy of being alive and enjoying each other's wacky company. Emotionally-constricted at home, both John and Lorraine find exhilaration in the total acceptance of their personalities without criticism, reveling in this unexpected personal freedom.

    Unfortunately they revel too much in the home of the Pigman (their private but respectful name for this gentle soul), who has been both liberal and trusting with his hospitality. The teenagers realize too late that things can go too far, when their adult friend pays the price for their selfishness and excess. This kindly middle-aged man helped set them free from social bondage--free to be themselves, accepted just as they are, but was the price too high for them all? Since when is Freedom really free? Liberty carried to extremes is License. A thoughtful read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Pigman
    I just finished reading the Pigman and it was a great book. I really do recomend it to many young people. When I got to some good chapters, I just did not want to put the book down! I guess I enjoyed reading this book because it really relates to some people. John and Lorraine didn't like high school and they tell their lives like they really are.
    I really enjoyed reading "The Pigamn," and I hope you do, too!

    1-0 out of 5 stars This book was the worst
    it was really bad i hated it because it was narrated by john and lorraine and they are horrible narrators.

    1-0 out of 5 stars (...)
    it was the worst book i have ever read.it is narraited by john and lorrine. they both take turns every other chapter. the two who are best friends, wanted to write down their experience with the pigman before they would forget them. the pigman was a nickname they gave mr. pignati, an old man whoese retired. the way the came in contact with the man was by calling him up. the teenagers were playing a phone game n called the lonely old man and who invited them over in a heartbeat. this is how their friendship started. they end up bonding with the pigman and they always go to the zoo with the old man to see his best friend bobo the babboon. even tho i didnt like this story by paul zindle- there r many themes in this book that are important such as dont abuse ur friendship, respect elders, or ur choices today affect ur choices tomorrow.
    i dont recomend this book at all. they tell u the ending in the beginign which just spoils it. but as u read it u sort of forget that it happenes and when it does u go o yea! n then its the end-its just leaves u hanging. so then u have to read the 2nd book called the pigman's legacy. i only read that book only because i wanted to know wut happened to john and lorriane. the 2nd book is sort of like the 1st book only with new characters and a semi different plot. basiclly i didnt like this book at all and dont recomend that u read it ... Read more


    8. Sexy
    by Joyce Carol Oates
    list price: $16.99
    our price: $11.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060541490
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
    Publisher: HarperTempest
    Sales Rank: 158209
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It was in November, a Thursday after swim practice. The thing with Mr. Tracy, Darren's English teacher.
    The thing was how Darren would think of it, afterward.
    The thing that was vague and not-named.
    The thing that hadn’t happened, anyway.

    Darren Flynn has the perfect life -- until that day in November.

    After that day, after what happened (did it happen?), life is different. Darren is different. Nothing is as it was –– before. His friends, his family, even the people who are supposed to be in charge are no longer who Darren thought they were. Who can he trust, now?

    This compelling, masterfully written novel by acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates explores one teenager's search for identity in a complex, deceiving world, and the answers he finds in the most unexpected places. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    2-0 out of 5 stars dissapointed
    I really didn't enjoy this book. I can't really say why because it will spoil it for some people. I was just very dissapointed and felt the story could have been great.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
    I really enjoyed Sexy. Coming from a teacher point of view and former librarian, I would not have titled it "Sexy". I think the book is so much more than it's title but, that is what the parents are going to see and it might inhibit some students from picking up a great book.
    The book explores so may aspects of teen turmoil. I loved the ending!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and thought provoking YA effort by Ms. Oates!
    I decided to give this book a whirl because I have heard wonderful things about Joyce Carol Oates's Young Adult offerings.Sexy is quite a compelling and thought-provoking novella.When an English teacher is accused of committing a sexual crime, it is up to young Darren to speak in his favor.But Darren is overwhelmed with confusions regarding his sexuality.Darren is quite a popular sixteen-year-old who is part of the swimming team that one of the boys, out of spite for having been flunked, accuses Mr. Tracy of being a pedophile. Darren struggles with his identity and the reader wonders whether or not he is indeed gay.There are various twists throughout the novel.

    The novella may seem disjointed at times -- especially toward the end -- but that is because Oates wants you to read between the lines and understand the sort of confusion Darren is going through.The language is remarkable; you feel as though you are having a conversation with the narrator.The language is also quite stark and ambiguous at times, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation.That is the reason why the writing may seem disjointed at times, but this is done on purpose.I was able to feel Darren's loneliness and confusions as though it were my own.His inability to share his insecurities with others spoke volumes.That is what makes Sexy an incredible book that all adolescents, male or female, should read.The novella is thought provoking in more ways than one.Once again, Joyce Carol Oates has wowed me with this effort.This isn't her best book -- her short-story collections are much more literary -- but it is one of the best YA books I have read in a long time.I cannot recommend Sexy enough.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Is Oates the young adult novel's new Cormier?
    I love Oates. This time around, I felt like she had picked up where Robert Cormier left off. She's our new Cormier! She explores complex ideas, which is always a reason to put your hands together. In swift, smart strokes, she creates breathing characters. Our hero Darren is no exception. But I'm not convinced she's mastered the art of the short novel (teenage or otherwise). This book is crowded with so much drama that demands further exploration, and you see this in some of the more minor characters. Stereotypical jock friends. Give-themselves-over-too-easily girlfriends. Vacuous parents. School administrators who are like chess pieces in Oates' game of plotting. And a sneaky little subplot about Darren's sexuality that is barely mined, almost as if some editor told Oates she couldn't dig deeper in a young adult novel.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Swimming at the Shallow End of Teen Sexuality Issues
    I chose to read this book based on a memory of Ms. Oates powerful short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" since the description on the book jacket seemed to indicate that this would cover similar ground...only with a young male protagonist.

    That older short story was an unsettling, haunting look into the world of emerging teen sexuality that produces an effect that only a great writer could.That was Oates at the top of her game and she was able to connect with readers of all ages, creating a powerful impact.

    This book however is a "different story" all together.

    While the writing is capable and the structure makes for a quick read, there is ultimately little of consequence here.We are confronted with issues that should be taken seriously rather than touched upon lightly.And it would have been very nice to have a little more depth to most of the characters.

    Oates relies heavily on our understanding common types of people and situations -- presenting attributes and behaviors of these types rather than giving us fully developed characters.This borders on stereotyping.

    In this book, we are presented with tragedy.But the conclusion is sadly weak and soulless.Great writing should be more than dumping a collection of "hot" issues on the reader -- even if you can do so in a seamlessly artistic manner.It needs to call to something in our hearts and minds, and raise us up to consider our lives more fully.

    To be confronted with superficiality in a book that deals with a main character who is troubled by people seeing only his looks and not understanding the person underneath.That is ironic indeed. ... Read more


    9. The Contender
    by Robert Lipsyte
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064470393
    Catlog: Book (1987-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 61612
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Before you can be a champion,
    you have to be a contender.

    Alfred Brooks is scared. He's a highschool dropout and his grocery store job is leading nowhere. His best friend is sinking further and further into drug addiction. Some street kids are after him for something he didn't even do. So Alfred begins going to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that has trained champions. There he learns it's the effort, not the win, that makes the man -- that last desperate struggle to get back on your feet when you thought you were down for the count.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (258)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Contender
    First thing I want to say: Excellent book! I think Lipsyte did a wondrous job portraying a young, scared boy growing into a determined, mature man.
    Alfred Brooks is scared. He is a high school dropout with a job at a grocery store that is going nowhere, and fast. His best friend is sinking more and more into drugs. The neighborhood thugs want him, to either beat him up or to join them. After one of these beatings, Alfred decides to start going to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that is notorious for champions. While training, he learns from Donatelli that it's the effort, not the win, that makes the man. It's if you can be hit and hurt, but still struggle to stand on your feet when everyone thought you were done. I loved the book. I think it would make an excellent movie and should be done so soon.
    While reading this book I was inspired to start working out and feel better about myself. After reading this book I understood the importance of determination, discipline, and dedication when trying for your goals. I learned that if you have what it takes to become a contender, then you can do anything you want to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Contender
    This book is about Alfred Brooks. He is a high school dropout and doesn't know what to do with his life. His mom died and he is living with his Aunt Pearl. He works at Epstein's Grocery Store which is owned by 3 Epstein brothers. Alfred hangs out with people that want to break into the store. Alfred doesn't tell them that there is a silent alarm in the store. His best friend James gets caught and the others don't trust him anymore. He goes to Donatelli's gym to workout and he goes there every chance he can. He finds out that Lou Epstein used to be a great boxer. Alfred learns how to box and gets a chance to fight. Will Alfred win the fight? Will he continue boxing? What will happen next? Find out by reading The Contender.
    I liked this book because the good descriptions made it easy to imagine the people. You could also tell how Alfred felt at every point in the book. For example before he was going to fight in a match his stomach felt like an "ice ball". The sounds you could imagine too. "When Alfred was hitting the peanut bag it sounded like a machine gun". The one thing I didn't like about it is the way the city was described. There wasn't enough detail to imagine it. All I knew was that it took place in Harlem. I don't think that the author should just assume that people know what Harlem looks like. I read other books that took place in Harlem and the author described it much better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Alfred and His Problems
    I read the book THE CONTENDER by Robert Lipsyte. I really enjoyed the book because it's not really long nor hard to understand. The book is really action packed and keeps you wanting to read it more and more. The main character is Alfred. Alfred's conflict is that his best friend James want's him to go to the store he works at and help him break in so they can steal. The place Alfred works is at the supermarket that James wants to rob. Alfred gets jumped on the way home from the supermarket one night by one of James' friends who wanted help to rob the store.After Alfred gets jumped he decides that he wants to take boxing lessons. Alfred goes to the gym to see what it was like and tries to walk out but Mr.Donatellie stops him. Alfred decides to give boxing lessons a try and doesn't realize how much work it would really be. If you want to know more I recommend that you read the book THE CONTENDER.

    4-0 out of 5 stars THE CONTENDER
    The Contender
    The contender is a great book explaining some of the problems people have in the ghetto with great detail. I especially like the way in which the author works around the problem which Alfred (main character) getting beat up, bullied and having racists always on his back. Alfred tells his friend about his job and how sometimes that the store he works at is empty on Sundays. His friends decide to break in and steal money from the store but Alfred doesn't go and forgets to tell them about the new alarm in which goes off and cops come and arrest his friends. Alfred hides, but all of his friends who didn't get caught want to kill him, so he must learn how to fight. He actually becomes a Boxer. I think this book greatly describes the thinking of teenagers today and gives meaning of what teenagers face everyday. Also on pages 8 and 9 in chapter one it describes a place where he can be himself and can hide and get away from the world, which is a secret place. Overall I think Contender is a must read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars a knockout of a book
    the contender was an exellent book that I would recomend for others. you read along a young man's path from a school dropout to an in shape boxer.through boxing, alfred brooks, is able to find himself. I thought this book was good because it deals with real life problems such as drugs, education, and violence. this is a very good book for a teenaged boy. it teaches good ethics like never give up, never lose faith, and always keep punching. ... Read more


    10. Fast Lane to Victory: The Story of Jenny Thompson (Anything You Can Do... New Sports Heroes for Girls)
    by Doreen Greenberg, Michael Greenberg, Jenny Thompson
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $12.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1930546386
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-15)
    Publisher: Wish Publishing
    Sales Rank: 33062
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Anything You Can Do series is unprecedented in its concept of offering real stories of new heroes to young girls. The premise of the series is to profile a variety of young athletes, from a variety of ethnic, socio-economic, geographical and family backgrounds who have grown up to achieve excellence in Olympic and professional sports. Series Foreword by Julie Foudy, Member U.S. Women's World Cup-Winning Soccer Team Series Introduction by Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic Track & Field Superstar and Sports Illustrated for Women's Athlete of the Century ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring role model
    I love this book! It's a great story of how sports can shape your life in a positive way. Swimmers and non-swimmers alike will be inspired by Jenny's story. This great book is now available as an e-book for those of you who can't find a copy of the original printing. You can order here from amazon.com, the isbn is B0001GDOUQ.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How Jenny dealt with the negative peer pressure
    Fast Lane To Victory is the third in Wish Publishing's outstanding "Anything You Can Do...New Sports Heroes For Girls" series and the story of swim champion Jenny Thompson. Swimming was what Jenny like best, but when her friends at school started to tease her and call her "tomboy" and "Too Tall Thompson", she felt the pressures placed on a lot of young girls to conform to social norms of what was "proper" for girls. Jenny dealt with the negative peer pressure and became so successful as an athlete that she came to be called the "Fastest Swimmer in the World". Also very highly recommended for school and community library collections are the first two volumes in this superbly presented and inspiring sports oriented series for girls: A Drive To Win: The Story Of Nancy Lieberman (40-8, ...) and Sword Of A Champion: The Story Of Sharon Monplaisir (39-4, ...). ... Read more


    11. Slam! (Point Signature (Scholastic))
    by Walter Dean Myers
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590486683
    Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 8269
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently. ... Read more

    Reviews (77)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Slam
    ....
    Fiction

    The theme of this book is: If you work hard at something, you will eventually achieve it.

    I would recommend this book to all teenagers of all racial backgrouds because everyone can relate to it.

    The story started out introducing all of Greg "Slam" Harris' family members. Greg and his family lives in a suburb house in the "hood". Greg has the potential to go all the way to the professional leagues in basketball if he just keeps his grades right in school. Greg just switched schools from the all black Carver, to the predominately white Latimer. This new school is much more strict on the curriculum and it is showing through his grades. Another problem is that everytime a teacher tells Greg about his grades, he just gets mad and doesn't want to hear it. Greg was helped by a tutor and started to do better in his school work. Next, Greg was faced with another problem. His friend "Ice" was selling drugs, but Greg did not know how to bring up the issue to him without Ice thinking he is dissing him. With the love of basketball, Greg brought his friend in the right direction.

    This book will be very memorable for me, because it showed me how to overcome certain struggles in my life. This book kept me wanting to read more and more.

    The only mattre that the book left out in my opinion, was the fact that the audience does not know what Greg does after high school. I wanted to know if he really went to the pros or not.

    The book affected me in the fact that when something will seem hard for me, I will strive to work harder.

    This book was very enjoyable and entertaining, and I wish that everyone could read this book because it teaches humans how to keep special relationships work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Slam!
    Slam!

    The book I recommend you to read is Slam! by Walter Dean Myers. Slam, the main character, has a rough life in this story. For example, Slam's friend, Ice, is getting into drugs, and is making Slam's life harder than it already is. Slam's grandmother is also dying. Slam has to change schools, too. Although Slam has a hard time in his life, he also has some good times. For instance, he got to play basketball, his favorite sport, for his new school, Latimer. He also met new people at his new school. All in all, this is the book I recommend you to read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars JJs Review
    this is a great book that was fun to read. the only problem about this book is the book had a lot of slag and it became hard to understand and sometimes the book dragged on but the book was good enough i read it in one sitting

    5-0 out of 5 stars Slam
    Slam, by Walter Dean Myers was a interesting book. It was about 17-year-old Greg Harris from Harlem, New York. This is a ideal book for African American kids because it deals with the everyday struggles they have to go through. Greg is a basketball player and his friends call him Slam! because of the way he slams the ball into the hoop. But the book is not all about basketball. Greg has to find out if his friend is doing dangerous things behind his back that could be life threatening. Along with that he still has school that he isn't doing well in and a girl friend on the side named Mtisha. While Slam is dealing with all his struggles on the side he plays basketball to relive stress. The stress from all the things he is going through like school,his grandmother being sick, his little brother Derrick being a pain, his best friend Ice being in trouble, basketball, and a girlfriend. He still has time for Basketball. I recommend this book for African American teenagers around the world.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Slam! Review
    Recently in my literature class we read Slam!. The book is one of the best stories about life that I have ever read. Walter Dean Myers really did a good job writing a book about someone's life experiences. I took the time to really read it. I rarely ever read a book that a teacher assigns unless it is really good. I loved this book, I was ahead of the rest of the class the second day that we started reading the book. I gave the time to read it twice just so I could give the right review.
    It is a book with mixed styles of writing, (mystery, adventure, etc....). This book is a mystery inside of an adventure. I really love mysteries but the adventure part of the book added to the book. The main point of this book is about a 15-year-old boy named Slam. He has a big attitude problem, and thinks he is better than everybody else. He learns throughout the book that his attitude isn't going to get him anywhere and that he needs to straighten up, or he will never go play college ball.
    Right before he starts the school year he has to transfer schools, he was going to a city school and then he goes to a prep school where he doesn't really like to go. He has a friend at the city school named Ice, it is his best friend, they grew up together and now someone else thinks Ice is dealing drugs. The person who thinks he is dealing is a girl named Mtisha. Slam and her are like boyfriend and girlfriend but they do not say it. That is the mystery part of the whole book. Myers lets it flow through the whole book. That is all I am going to tell you about the book, I don't want to give the whole thing away.
    On a rating scale of 1-10 I would give this book a 9. I would recommend you to read this book if you like sports. It is one of the best sport books ever written in my opinion because of the detail used in the games, and the real life experiences off the court. ... Read more


    12. Safe at Second
    by Scott Johnson
    list price: $14.15
    our price: $14.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0613360095
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Rebound by Sagebrush
    Sales Rank: 648185
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Todd Bannister has it all: a fastball made for the majors, scouts lining up at his door, a beautiful girlfriend, and his best friend Paulie-his number one fan.It seems nothing can stop the bright future that lies ahead. But all it takes is one line drive-and Todd takes it square in the face, and loses an eye.Things are different now. Will Todd have the strength to give up his old dreams and move on?Will Paulie? Scott Johnson weaves a masterful tale about what happens after the big game in this engrossing coming-of-age story. ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stepping Up to the Plate for Todd
    Todd Bannister, star pitcher of Edgeville High's baseball team has it all.Agents and scouts court him; he has a bright future in baseball, so it seems.

    Todd's career is sidelined when he is hit in the eye by a baseball.The eye trauma is so extensive that he loses the eye and, he believes his future in baseball.

    His friend Paulie won't let him give up.He sticks by Todd through thick and thin, even when Todd's depression leads him into making rash decisions such as drinking at unsupervised parties.Todd loses his abrasive girlfriend Melissa during his long convalescence and the pair re-evaluate their relationship.

    Todd has plenty of time to think.Baseball was the focus of his life and Paulie's, too.Paulie is the satellite who revolves around Todd; it is in fact Todd's encouragement (and trickery) that got Paulie on the baseball team.An avid Tabletop fan and baseball statistician, Paulie's relationship with Todd appears to be only focussed on one thing - baseball.As Todd recovers mentally and physically from his traumatic injury and psychological repercussions, he encourages Paulie to be more than his personal go-fer.Paulie also copes with some major decision making and evaluation.

    This is an excellent book that attests to the power of friendship; the love of baseball; team cooperation and taking that team cooperation off the diamond and far beyond.This is an author to watch out for!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A TRUE REVIEW
    I liked this book, but I was disappointed with the ending. I won't say what happened (read it!), but it certainly wasn't what I expected. I also thought that since the plot of the book was about Todd, that it should be written in his point of view, not Paulie's. As an overall book, I would definitely recommend it. I really liked the baseball part of it and I liked the way the author could make you feel the character's emotion. I thought this was a pretty good book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars What a book!
    Pitcher Todd Bannister is the best high school pitcher in the United States. His best friend Paulie, also his number one fan, tells the story of this major league bound player and how it came abruptly to an end when a line drive smacks him right in the. The ball hits square on the eye, the coach rushes him to the hospital, but it turns out there is nothing they can do to help it. The only thing they can do is put in a glass eye. Will Todd find the strength to ever pitch again? And what will Paulie do if Todd doesn't make the majors?

    This book really freaked me out. I wondered if Todd would ever pitch again. I wondered what Paulie would do because he based his whole life around Todd. I wondered if Todd and Melissa would ever get back together. So many questions were flying through my head. I just couldn't put the book down. Todd eventually goes back to school, but it's not the same. People look at him a different way. People hold doors for him, they let him walk into class first, and they just let him have a whole bunch of special privileges

    This book reminded me of the movie, "The Rookie". "The Rookie is about a 40 year old man who tries to make a comeback so he can play in the major league. "Safe at Second" is about Todd Bannister, the best high school pitcher in America, and how he gets hit in the eye by a line drive. Both Todd and the 40 year old man have to deal with some sort of setback. Todd has the problem of only being able to see out of one eye while the 40 yr. old man has the problem of him being old. Both try to make a comeback. Todd fails, but the 40 yr. old succeeds.

    I picked this book because of my love of sports, especially my love for baseball. Every year, I can't wait for opening day. The sound of fastballs hitting the mitt and the yell of the crowd after a walk off home run just brings baseball fever to me. When I read the book preview, I was immediately sucked into the book so much that I couldn't put it down. I loved the party scene (it was hilarious). I would suggest this book to any baseball fan.

    On a scale of 1-5 I would rate this book as a 4. The story of the book was really great but some of the language is not for young children. I can completely relate to this book because like Todd and Paulie, I'm learning about drugs and how they affect you. Todd's try at a comeback was really cool to read about, but it was also interesting see how Paulie had to switch lifestyles because he had always based it around Todd. It goes to show you, don't base your life around one thing because if something happens to that one thing, what else do you have to jump to.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Safe at Second
    In this report you will read what I a, high school senior, felt about this book. I will tell you what the pros and cons were in the book. I will talk about the characters, what they were like and how they were a part of the book. I will tell you their significance but I will not tell you the ending. I will give you my prediction and personal view on the book. So, with no further delay, let's begin this epic journey of the book "Safe at Second" by Scott Johnson.
    This book was about a boy named Todd Banister. He had everything going for him. He did well at school and was a sensational ball player. He had scouts for major universities and ball clubs like the Reds and other professional teams interested in him. He had a best friend named Paulie Lockwood and a girlfriend named Melissa. Todd had everything until one day he was hit in the face with a line drive and lost an eye. Now that everything has drasticly changed will he have the strength and determination to pitch again? How will his friends react when the only one who believes he can pitch again is his best friend Paulie. So to find out the end to this epic journey you must read this book.
    This book has a great plot and draws you to in right from the beginning. The book has a great moral dimension and the excitement and suspense never lets up. The characters can be related and are well developed. The plot is well developed and the climax occurs at the right point. The parents in the book are like real parents, concerned and responsible. The characters work well for high schoolers going through the same tough decisions. This is a well-written book.
    What really didn't work well was the ending and how it leaves you hanging. If the author comes out with a book that continues from where he left of that would be great. So, the only thing that was a disappointment was the ending. The ending leaves you begging for more so that was the only low point.
    My personal opinion this was a great book. This book was great for sports fanatics and people who like good books. This book shows and proves that anything can happen when you put your mind to it. So, as one student to another, this is a great book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Safe at Second"
    Safe at Second on a scale of 1-5, it was a 4. It was about a boy, Paulie Lockwood, and hisbest friend, Todd Banister. The main point is, basically how far a friendship goes, and what to do with your future. Todd, a senior in high school, is an All-Star baseball player. Paulie, a jr. in high school, plays {he isn't that good} but he mainly follows Todd. Todd is being offered scholarships and MLB {Major League Baseball} contracts. Paulie is going to be alone when Todd leaves. The problems have to deal with tragedy, feelings, and mind/emotions. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it, and heard the two sounds almost together. The solid ping of the line drive off the bat. Then the ugly chunk, as the ball smacked into Todd's face and jerked his whole head backward. From all around the field I heard one loud, sharp gasp. I stampeded over with everyone else. Todd had landed hard on his right shoulder, and now, sprawling halfway off the mound, he looked as still and lumpy as an old duffle bag full of bats. Some of the guys on the field got to him first, and as I came up, one of them, Wayne Linder, turned away, his face white and sickly. I eased passed him to get closer. "He's okay," I heard myself whisper, and kneeled down behind him to put my hand half around his left shoulder. "He's all right." That was when he screamed. ... Read more


    13. How Angel Peterson Got His Name
    by GARY PAULSEN
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440229359
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-10)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 209827
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When you grow up in a small town in the north woods, you have to make your own excitement. High spirits, idiocy, and showing off for the girls inspire Gary Paulsen and his friends to attempt:

    • Shooting waterfalls in a barrel • The first skateboarding • Jumping three barrels like motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel–except they only have bikes • Hangliding with an Army surplus target kite • Bungee jumping • Wrestling . . . a bear?
    Extreme sports lead to extreme fun in new tales from Gary’s boyhood.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME
    I was laughing so hard that I woke up Shari AND both dogs!

    A longtime friend of mine, who works as our school's counselor--and who gets to borrow the books that I write about--has occasionally asked me very sweetly whether I could find more funny books for our students. J.T., this one's for you!

    "We built countless ramps with old boards laid on barrels or boxes, at the bottom of a hill if possible, and we would try to jump over things with our bikes.

    "Remember, these were one-speed fat-tired bikes with a crowned-up, castrating brace bar and the things we tried to jump were fences, wooden walls, barrels, bikes, each other. On one memorable occasion Alan--after carefully calculating distances and angles--tried to jump his stepfather's Ford coupe end to end. He didn't...quite...make it and left a face print on the windshield of the car, but that might have been because he was distracted by the scream when his mother came out just as we finished the ramp and Alan made his jump..."

    Now, I can remember some of the "really neat stuff" we did when I was young: There was a telephone cable hanging from a wooden utility pole in this vacant lot filled with mounds of dirt left over from digging foundations in he neighborhood. It made for great swinging (à la George of the Jungle) until Jimmy Dean got a concussion by swinging straight into the pole. There was "skitching" --kids in Beatle boots grabbing onto the back bumper of any car that was cruising through the snow-slickened parking lot behind Modell's. I can also recall the thrill of aiming our banana bikes full speed over the edge and down the big drop-off at Sunshine Acres Park. But my sitting here today (in one piece) attests to the fact that I did NOT spend my impressionable years hanging out with Gary Paulsen and his buddies:

    "Alan, again after carefully calculating and measuring..., decided that if you got up to twenty-six miles an hour and angled a ramp to ensure (that's how he put it, 'to ensure') that you got at least seven point six feet in the air, it was possible to do a complete backward somersault and land on your wheels upright. Alan, having gotten at least seven feet in the air after a screaming run down Black Hill, landed exactly, perfectly upside down, bicycle wheels straight up, spinning, in a cloud of dust and gravel."

    Decorating the cover of HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME AND OTHER OUTRAGEOUS TALES ABOUT EXTREME SPORTS is an illustration of a young man on snow skis. He is wearing one of those old leather flight helmets (à la Snoopy) and flight goggles, and he is being pulled through the snow behind a sporty automobile that dates back to my father's adolescence. The young man is Angel Peterson who in 1954, inspired by a newsreel proceeding the Saturday matinee, decided he'd break the speed record for skiing despite being a thousand miles from any hills. Such was passion for scientific curiosity (and impressing girls) amid the "Brain Trust" that hung out with the young Gary Paulsen.

    "Alan tried once more, getting a lift from an unsuspecting truck by hanging on to the rear corner and hitting the ramp so fast that it gave way and he went through it like a tank, barrels and boards and splinters flying everywhere."

    "Wayne completed the only true backward flip off a bicycle but he didn't take the bike with him..."

    Of course Shari, ever-the-mom, shakes her head, appalled by what I'm reading her from the book--a sure sign that this book will be absolutely worshiped by young boys. (Shari says that's why I like the book so much.) No, really, it's a book for girls, too. (Rosemary, who can tell you about trying to bounce through the air from the trampoline to the rope hanging from the tree, is going to love this one.) In fact, the only fault that I can find with the book is its size: One hundred and eleven pages is way too brief for so funny a book. Guess I'll just have to read it again...right after I take my government surplus target kite out in the next heavy wind and see if I can...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious! What were Paulsen and his friends thinking?? :)
    It's the 1950's and Gary Paulsen and his friends are 13 years old. For whatever reasons, they chose this year to be the year of "extreme sports"-Paulsen's term for the outrageous dares they took.

    These days, extreme sports refers to organized teams and individuals who participate in sport activities that involve rules, certified equipment, and lots of padding and head gear. For Paulsen and his buddies, the equipment was usually purchased at the army surplus store and converted to fit their needs. Their padding and head gear? Didn't exist.

    They jumped off of things, help onto things, went fast, went high, broke records, turned, twisted, and rolled along all in the name of "What's the worst that can happen?"

    Just one page into this autobiographical sketch of life at thirteen, the reader can perfectly imagine the northern Minnesota town in which Paulsen grew up and can picture the adventurous, comical moments that made up this crazy year of his life. The dialogue brings to mind so many young adolescent boys, all trying to fit in another ten minutes of fun before their parents call them to dinner.

    These stories are laugh-aloud fun, and they make the reader want to go out and put some wheels on something!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A knee slapper
    This is a great book for the average male reader who needs a quick funny read. This book tells the story as it unfolds of thirteen year olds back in the fifties after the Korean war and how they spend their spare time. These daredevils perform the unthinkable just because they don't have anything better to do. Gary Paulsen twists a wacky sense of humor into this piece that will keep your side splitting with laughter. A must read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars How Angel Peterson got His Name
    The Book How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulson is a fun, and hilarious book to read. If you are looking for a funny book, pick this one. It is for the grade level of 6-8.

    This story takes place in a small town in Minnesota in the early fifties. They barely had television, mostly radio, and all the kids want to do is have fun. They had fun by doing daredevil stunts. The book is based on Gary Paulson's stories from when he was a 13 year old boy and the crazy things he and his friends did.

    Throughout the whole book Angel and his 13 year old friends do crazy dare devil stunts. Such as, break the record for the speed on skis, trying to go down a waterfall in a barrel, hang gliding with an army parachute, and trying to wrestle a bear. These boys did anything and everything possible. They also tried to put dynamite in a box, go in it, and have it blow up. Jumping through a ring of fire was another one of their wild stunts.

    The point of this book is that you can do anything you want as long as you put your mind to it. I recommend this book to anyone that likes to laugh. I also recommend the book to anyone that likes humorous books

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wild and Crazy Kids comes to a Book.
    If your looking for an absolutly hilarious book, you've found it. Gary Paulsen does it again with a wonderful book for when you just want to kick back, relax, cut up, and laugh in this book about best friends who think of crazy stunts to do.
    This book has five different stories about best friends who live in Minnesota and just want to have fun. All of the stories or most start out with the guys going to the Army surplus store(because this is just after the Korean War and all of the left over equiptment in on sall dirt cheap)to buy things like skis, parachutes, jackets, gloves, and other things that you could use to do anything stupid such as try to break the world record for speed on skis, which they try to do by the way. Or see how high you can get in a parachute, or even try to wrestle a bear for crying out loud these guys will do it all.
    Look I don't care if you don't like to read when the names of the stories include, How Angel Peterson got his name, The Miracle of Flight, Orvis Overson and the Crash and Bash, Girls and the Circle of Death,(which is definitly my favorite, if may bring memories to you guys that make you say, "man i was dumb")and last but not least And Finally, Skateboards, Bungee Jumping and other Failures. How could you not want to read this book.
    So take it from a person who absolutly hates reading. If you truly enjoy outragiously funny things then I would by, borrow, or even rent from the library. So whatever you do, just read this book. ... Read more


    14. The Pigman
    by PAUL ZINDEL
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553263218
    Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
    Publisher: Starfire
    Sales Rank: 16700
    Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    For sophomores John and Lorraine, the world feels meaningless; nothing is important. They certainly can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people. It's during one of these pranks that they meet the "Pigman"--a fat, balding old man with a zany smile plastered on his face. In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon find that they're caught up in Mr. Pignati's zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that's ever mattered to them. Originally published in 1968, this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel still sings with sharp emotion as John and Lorraine come to realize that "Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less." ... Read more

    Reviews (283)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for every High School Teacher!
    Through his style of writing, Paul Zindel makes it easy for anyone to make a connection with the characters. Can you picture a teenager without life dilemmas? Not in today's society, so this is one book you must have every teenager read. In this book, you will meet two dynamic characters- John and Lorraine. They are two sophomores in high school who share with the reader their adventures. John is the typical prankster. Lorraine is his sidekick. Together, they to many things. They drink and smoke at the cemetery, and play practical jokes on people. The famous telephone marathon prank was one prank that changed their lives forever. The Pigman introduces them to a whole new world. Throughout the book, John and Lorraine will encounter themes of love, compassion, and trust. In addition, you will read about the different conflicts they experience. What does John's father wants him to be when he grows up? Why Lorraine's mother hates men? Who is Bobo? When I read this book as an adult, I could not put it down! I found myself becoming part of the story. I strongly encourage every educator to have this become part of your reading collection. If you are not an educator, you should purchase or recommend this book to any teenager you know. They will not be able to thank you enough.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Liberty or License?
    I found the cover of the Paperback version somewhat misleading,
    claiming that the title character was hiding a "Terrible secret" and that society would be "shocked and hurt" by the revelations.
    This was definitely a serious book, but Not the heavy mystery which the publisher (Bantam Starfire) proclaimed. The story is both humorous and pathetic--well worth reading, especially for
    high school kids, who can relate to superficial conversations and disintegrating relationships with their parents.

    Two sophomores who are misfits in some ways team up to play telephone pranks, which is how they meet Angelo Pignati (who
    does not raise pigs). What starts out as a loony, harmless,scam changes into an important and fulfilling relationship for the three of them. One where it is safe and OK to do silly things--like roller skate through a department store--just for the the sheer joy of being alive and enjoying each other's wacky company. Emotionally-constricted at home, both John and Lorraine find exhilaration in the total acceptance of their personalities without criticism, reveling in this unexpected personal freedom.

    Unfortunately they revel too much in the home of the Pigman (their private but respectful name for this gentle soul), who has been both liberal and trusting with his hospitality. The teenagers realize too late that things can go too far, when their adult friend pays the price for their selfishness and excess. This kindly middle-aged man helped set them free from social bondage--free to be themselves, accepted just as they are, but was the price too high for them all? Since when is Freedom really free? Liberty carried to extremes is License. A thoughtful read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Pigman
    I just finished reading the Pigman and it was a great book. I really do recomend it to many young people. When I got to some good chapters, I just did not want to put the book down! I guess I enjoyed reading this book because it really relates to some people. John and Lorraine didn't like high school and they tell their lives like they really are.
    I really enjoyed reading "The Pigamn," and I hope you do, too!

    1-0 out of 5 stars This book was the worst
    it was really bad i hated it because it was narrated by john and lorraine and they are horrible narrators.

    1-0 out of 5 stars (...)
    it was the worst book i have ever read.it is narraited by john and lorrine. they both take turns every other chapter. the two who are best friends, wanted to write down their experience with the pigman before they would forget them. the pigman was a nickname they gave mr. pignati, an old man whoese retired. the way the came in contact with the man was by calling him up. the teenagers were playing a phone game n called the lonely old man and who invited them over in a heartbeat. this is how their friendship started. they end up bonding with the pigman and they always go to the zoo with the old man to see his best friend bobo the babboon. even tho i didnt like this story by paul zindle- there r many themes in this book that are important such as dont abuse ur friendship, respect elders, or ur choices today affect ur choices tomorrow.
    i dont recomend this book at all. they tell u the ending in the beginign which just spoils it. but as u read it u sort of forget that it happenes and when it does u go o yea! n then its the end-its just leaves u hanging. so then u have to read the 2nd book called the pigman's legacy. i only read that book only because i wanted to know wut happened to john and lorriane. the 2nd book is sort of like the 1st book only with new characters and a semi different plot. basiclly i didnt like this book at all and dont recomend that u read it ... Read more


    15. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
    by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0141304707
    Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 26920
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    If you could see with your eyes closed, how would you use your power? That’s what Henry has to decide in "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,"one of the seven stories in this extra-ordinary collection. In addition to imaginative and magical tales, this book also contains the true story of how Roald Dahl became a writer, as well as a copy of the very first nonfiction story he wrote for The Saturday Evening Post. Packed with wit and adventure, the collection is a clever mix of fantasy and reality — and a stunning showcase of Dahl’s prose. ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous tales from a master
    A recent discussion with several friends left me fending off accusations that the only material I read or watch pertains to the horror genre. I had some difficulty convincing these misguided souls that I do indeed like to read literature and watch films that don't contain a masked maniac. Exhibit A in my defense is Roald Dahl's "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More," a book I adored as a child and one that fully deserves to sit alongside the author's better known "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach." Dahl the man had an interesting life; he worked in the oil business in Africa before joining the RAF during World War II to fight the Luftwaffe. Injuries incurred from a plane crash briefly sidetracked Dahl's military career, but eventually gave the world something to sing about because it directly led to the beginning of his writing career. You get all of this information from one of the stories in the book, but Dahl's fiction deservedly receives the most attention. Fortunately, we get a lot of that here too. Roald Dahl died in 1990.

    The non-fiction pieces here are wonderful. His first story, "A Piece of Cake," is here, along with an account of how Dahl became a writer. Entitled "Lucky Break," this story is really a short autobiography of the writer from his early school days through his war experiences. The sections outlining his years at one of England's public schools should be read by anyone who thinks American places of learning are terrible. English public schools, Dahl writes, are actually very private academies devoted to the total education of their pupils. During the writer's childhood, this meant harsh, rigid discipline of a type usually seen in the military. The brutality exhibited by teachers and elder classmates at the school is shocking: the older students routinely whipped younger pupils with switches, an activity mirrored by the teachers whenever students misbehaved. There are great, tension filled descriptions of the beatings endured by Dahl at the hands of these tormentors. The author advises that wearing thick pajamas and undergarments will protect one's posterior from the brunt of a switching administered by a fellow classmate, but nothing will save you from the headmaster's canes. Yikes! And to think the worst thing that happened to me in school involved losing my locker combination. School wasn't a total loss for the young author, however, as it was the place where he learned to love literature.

    The centerpiece story, "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar," is one of the best in the book. It's really two stories in one, about a wealthy but frivolous soul named Henry Sugar and his discovery of an unusual book in a friend's library. The book tells the story about a man in India who has learned to see through objects without the use of his eyes. Sugar gets the sudden inspiration to attain this ability and soon discovers that he is a natural at it, one of the rare people with the amazing gift to learn this art in just a few years. Henry's motivations are highly suspect at first: he wishes to use this newfound talent to cheat at the casino, thereby earning himself a fortune. But something rather odd occurs during his training process when Sugar soon discovers that he has little interest in accumulating money for selfish ends. He decides instead to use his gift to fund orphanages for the world's poor, and over the next several decades bilks casino after casino out of millions of dollars. Sugar soon becomes so well known to the owners of these gambling houses that he must assume disguises to keep the game going. Dahl writes the story in such a way that the reader becomes convinced Henry Sugar was a real, breathing person.

    "The Swan" is another gem about a precocious child named Peter Watson who runs into two local tormentors, Ernie and Raymond, while out bird watching. The two goons march Watson around at the point of a gun for no other reason then alleviating their boredom on a weekend. They first tie Peter to the railroad tracks and trick him into believing he will be hit by a train. The final indignity occurs when Raymond and Ernie shoot a beautiful swan, tie its wings to Peter's arms, and force him to climb a tree so they can see him "fly." No spoilers here, but there is something magical and memorable about what happens next as Peter learns that he is one of those precious souls which all the bullies in the world will never triumph over. Along with "The Swan," you get "The Hitchhiker" and the less interesting "The Boy Who Talked With Animals."

    "The Mildenhall Treasure" is an incredible story about an amazing discovery. On a cold winter morning, a farmer plowing another man's land stumbled upon the greatest cache of Roman silver ever found in Britain. Regrettably, Gordon Butcher didn't know what he had found because the silver had tarnished during its years in the ground. His boss did know what it was and took the stuff home where hid it for a few years before the authorities discovered it. The crux of the story centers on a British law that says the person who FINDS any treasure receives compensation for the full market value of the items. The Mildenhall plates, bowls, and spoons would have netted Butcher nearly a million pounds. By allowing his boss to walk off with the silver, Butcher received only one thousand pounds. In a way, this book is similar to the Mildenhall Treasure: a great find even if you have little idea of it at first glance. Roald Dahl's works are genius and everyone should read a few of them.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Stories by the Exciting Author Roald Dahl
    Contains: THE BOY WHO TALKED WITH ANIMALS A wierd tale about a boy who decides to run away on a giant sea turtle. I gave away the end, but you'll have to read the well-written middle. THE HITCHHIKER The short tale of a fingersmith ( talented pickpocket ). THE SWAN A dramatic story of an intelligent, unconquerable young boy and the child thugs who terrorize him. THE MILDENHALL TREASURE From the back of the book:"A true tale of a fortune found and an opportunity lost." THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR Tells of the deep, Indian ( that is, from India ) secret: how to activate the senses without their instrument functioning ( i.e., to see without eyes, smell without the nose, hear without the ears, etc. ), and of the two people, Imhrat Khan and Henry Sugar, who dared to use it improperly. LUCKY BREAK-HOW I BECAME A WRITER Exactly what the title says. Includes some interesting characters we didn't see from "BOY" and some other great moments. PIECE OF CAKE FIRST STORY-1942 A poorly written story about the author's accident as a RAF fighter that changed his life. Then again, it was his first story, so I shouldn't be so critical.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
    As far as I'm concerned, this book should be reachable on every child's bookshelf (and by the way - every child should have a bookshelf). I read it years ago and can still recall the way the book made me feel - truly wonderful. I still remember the story of the hitchhiker so many years after I read it. Dahl is one of the best storytellers of our time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a piece of cake
    this is the only story i have read from the book so far, having just read it this last saturday to my 7 year old cousing before he drifted off to sleep. I'm seventeen and have read a fair share of literature. I enjoy Vonnegut, Lewis, steve Martin, Camus etc..., and I must say that this was one of the most captivating stories I have ever read, taking into account its short length of course. It wasn't epic, but I was driving and caustic. I loved it, and I will buy the book, even that one story would be all that was worth reading, which I highly doubt. I'm just rebuffing the last reviewers oppinion on the "Piece of Cake" story, so that someone might be given a second oppinion. Fusion is awesome, chech out billy cobham, I'm a Christian but I won't be voting for Bush when my first valid election comes around, I play the drums but I don't care for metal or rock n roll, stocks to watch are eag, emrg, almi, orch, and adzr, I'm single as might be assumed, and yes, I have a physics test tommorrow.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
    This is a great book. There are seven stories each one as fun and interesting as the next.

    In the first book entiled the The Boy Who Talked to Animals a man goes to Jamaica and as he was sitting on his balcony several fisherman bring up a turtle. Now you may be thinking so they bring in a turtle so what. Well heres what. This was no ordinary turtle. It was atleast five ft. long and four ft. across and a big crowd of hotel guests had come to stare at this magnificent creature. In this crowed of people was a certain very special boy, the boy who talked with animals. He begs everyone to let the turtle go as here kneels down and hugs it. What happens after that is for you to find out.

    In the next story entitled The Hitchhiker a man pickes up a hitchhiker who turned out to be a fingersmith (also known as pickpocket). The man drives too fast and is pulled over what happens next is for you to find out.

    The next story is The Mildenhall Treasure which is a true story - in fact one of the only true stories that Roald Dahl has ever written. He wrote this story because it was so interesting that he just had to. This true tale takes place in 1946. This story is about a treasure found and a man who lost a great oppertunity. Read this story and you wont be dissapointed.

    The Swan is a story about two child thugs Ernie and Raymond who go hunting and find bird wathcing Peter Watson. The two boys tourture Peter and kill a swan while their at it. Does Peter get shot? Does he live or die? find out in Roald Dahls The Swan.

    After this is a story about a man named Henry Suger. In this story Henry reads a story about a indian man who learned to see without his eyes. Henry learned to do this in order to make millions off casinos but in the years it took he seemed to have a change of heart and though still making millions, he finds a way to bring joy to orphans and fear to casino owners around the world. Read to find out more.

    In Lucky Break Roald Dahl explains the amazing way he became a writer.

    And lastly in the true story A Piece of Cake Roald Dahl has the story that led him to his lucky break. ... Read more


    16. Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder
    by Tony Hawk, Sean Mortimer
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060096896
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
    Publisher: Regan Books
    Sales Rank: 16871
    Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Test Your Tony IQ ...

    Don't worry, this isn't some busted quiz that counts for anything. It's a simple true or false test about the most famous skateboarder in the world. There's a lot about Tony Hawk's life that might surprise you. He didn't skate out of the crib landing every trick he attempted. He had tons of ups and downs on and off his skateboard -- sometimes he landed and sometimes he slammed. Here he takes you behind the scenes of the skateboard world and describes what it's like to be Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder.

    True or False

    a. Tony Hawk ate chewing gum from between Steve Caballero's toes.

    b. As a child, Tony was so competitive that he pelted his mother with tennis balls in order to win a tennis match.

    c. Tony failed to land a trick for more than fifteen years.

    d. Tony was such a spastic nightmare as a child that he was expelled from his preschool.

    e. Tony was such a small kid that he looked three grades younger and was often picked on by bullies.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars T ony Hawk
    Envision being the only skateboarder in your school. Looking different, standing out like a sore thumb, and of all else you are the smallest kid in your grade. In Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder an autobiography by Tony Hawk you will hear about Tony's life from when he was born to his retirement from professional skateboarding at age 31.

    Tony first started skating when he found an old, ratty skateboard under a heaping pile of junk in his garage, and thus began the career of one of the worlds best professional skaters. As Tony progresses through skating he sees all of the changes of skating from just being done by surfers when the waves were flat until present when skateboarding is as popular as it's ever been. This autobiography captures every aspect of Tony Hawk's life in such detail it feels as if Tony is sitting in front of you telling his whole life story.

    Tony Hawk started out in a town in California and describes him self as a spaz kid. I guess this is what caused him to be kicked out of his pre-school. From here the book goes through his accomplishments such as making the Bones Brigade (a pro skateboarding team of the best skaters), landing the Mc Twist (a 540o spin with a flip in it), and one of the greatest and most recognizable accomplishment of all landing the 900 (a 900o spin). Tony's life also had some faults including having to call his son by his middle name after the release of the box office bomb Riley Hawk. Tony went through some tough times but came out on the brighter side. Except when his father died of cancer. Tony stopped skating for a while but was back on the ramps before long.

    If you like a good biography or if you like skateboarding the tiniest bit this book is definitely for you. I rate this book 5 out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Flipping 360
    This book will make you flip or do a 360!! This is a great book! This book is about the ups and downs of Tony Hawk's life. From road trips to just hanging out at the local skatepark. This book is an awesome book to read and very easy to understand. I reccomend this book to anyone who likes skateboarding. Find out what Tony's life is like by reading this awesome book.

    Critic, Justin

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder
    This was an awesome book. I love this book, and I would recommend it to everyone. I hope that you guys will enjoy it as much as I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
    There is nothing in this book that is improper for children. This is a book specifically designed for young readers with no foul language and nothing indecent. Tony is a very moral and respectable person and a great role model for children.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I liked it alot
    My mom bought this for me and I just finished it.
    It was really good. ... Read more


    17. Devotions from the World of Sports
    by John Hillman, Kathy Hillman
    list price: $13.99
    our price: $10.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 078143033X
    Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
    Publisher: Chariot Victor Publishing
    Sales Rank: 86845
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description



    How can you reach an enthusiastic young sports fan—particularly boys—with biblical truth? Try this daily devotional that is full of sports history, heroes, and anecdotes that direct teen readers to scriptural principles.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This devotional book is the best thus far!
    Hey teens who are sports fanatics out there! I am a 17 year old who loves sports of all kinds, and more importanly, I love my Jesus with my whole heart. I have grown so much closer to Him by reading Devotions From the World of Sports. John and Kathy are incredible writers which God has given the gift of writing to them. They make it so clear in this book how to live for God. Plus, you get to know some sports history on the side. I've had the pleasure of talking to John online, and he is an example to us all! Pick up his and his wife's book today, and I can gurrantee you will walk closer with your Savior! It is the highlight of my day. God bless you all out there. I love you all as a sister in our Lord God Almighty! ... Read more


    18. Coach Carter (Amistad)
    by Jasmine Jones
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060772522
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
    Publisher: Amistad
    Sales Rank: 286660
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    Book Description

    When former Richmond High School basketball legend Ken Carter agrees to take over his alma mater's floundering team, he has the players sign a contract that demands good grades, perfect class attendance, and suits on game days. With Coach Carter at the helm, the Oilers' record soon stands at 12 and 0. But when the coach learns that some members of his team are cutting class and failing academically, he locks them out of the gym, incurring the wrath of the players, the school, and the community. Coach Carter's determination to adhere to his convictions puts his philosophy and his players' trust to the ultimate test.

    ... Read more

    19. Athletic Shorts : Six Short Stories
    by Chris Crutcher
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060507837
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
    Publisher: HarperTempest
    Sales Rank: 48797
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In six tense, exciting short stories, athletes face up to more than sports in tales of love and death, of bigotry and heroism, of real people doing the best that they can, even when that best is not enough.

    These stories feature new voices as well as characters from Chris Crutcher's acclaimed popular novels, including Stotan!, Running Loose, and The Crazy Horse Electric Game. Here are the moments that change lives forever. ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper!!
    Being a high school athlete, this is a cook that I was really able to relate to. Each character in the story shows that he/she is able solve his/her problem through their sports. All of he characters display high morale, which leads them to what they want at the end of their story. an example would be Angus, from the story "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune." He believed that no one should be treated as he was, and at thet end of the story, this trait won over his high-school sweetheart. These stories all show good kids goig through their tough teenage years, and the ways that they cope with these tough times. This book was one of the best that I have read. It showed that no matter how bad the situation is, you can always get what you want in the end if try for it hard enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Vinny review
    This was one of my favorite books. I loved it! The way the book was worded kept me on my feet. The way it relates to life in such a manor is great. Chris Crutcher impeccabley wrote this book. My favorite story is "The Pin" because so many of those things in the story have happened to me. I would recommend this book to anyone from the age of 13 and up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    Athletic shorts, by Chris Crutcher is a book about 6 short stories that describe athletes triumphs. I loved this book. Its would interest me around every corner. I would just wanted to continue reading. The only bad part of the book was that it had to end.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
    I thought Athletic Shorts was a good book because it was easy to understand since it was about sports. All the stories could hold my attention which made me want to read the next page. i thought that was a great way to write a sports book with 6 short stories all in one book. I could really relate to it because i like sports alot. I reccomend this book to anyone that like sports.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Courage shown by the imperfect facing the impossible
    Another great book by Chris Crutcher -- this one containing six short stories with troubled or stressed teens facing difficult situations. The last two, on the themes of racial prejudice and sexual preference prejudice, are especially powerful. ... Read more


    20. Daddy-Long-Legs (Puffin Classics)
    by Jean Webster
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140374558
    Catlog: Book (1995-06-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 90615
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A kind woman who was always deeply interested in the problems of the downtrodden, Jean Webster made an orphan girl a major character in one of her most charming and popular books--Daddy-Long-Legs. The oldest at a dreary home for foundlings, Judy Abbott finds her life completely changed when, with the help of a mysterious benefactor, she is granted her wish to be able to go to college. In return for this great favor, Judy has to write her anonymous sponsor each month about her activities at the New England school, which she does in letters addressed to "Daddy-Long-Legs." A meeting with the rich, handsome uncle of her snobbish roommate sets Judy and readers alike on the road to uncovering the secrets surrounding her secret friend. Unabridged republication of a standard edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sweet story with a twist
    Usually I absolutely hate novels that are supposed to be a collection of letters and/or diary entries for this simple reason, they are as transparent as saran wrap. Something along the lines of "I'm just jotting down a casual letter to inform you that I just had a terrible fight with so-and-so, here's what we said word for word complete with speaker attributes"

    That's why I was so pleasantly suprised with this book. The writing is entertaining, intelligent and always realistic. That is EXACTLY how a person in their late teens, early twenties writes (I know, I'm a letter writer in that age group) and it is so refreshing to read an author who knows what she is talking about on the subject.

    Judy Abbott is most certainly not a Pollyanna, she teases, gets angry and argues but she has a nice nature and always manages to patch things up. She is an orphan who writes to her mysterious benefactor whom she dubs "Daddy-Long-Legs". Because he is her fairy godmother for all purposes, she confides in him even though she knows he will never answer. The ending is marvelous with a great little twist. I think this book is great for girls 8-80 and am sorry I did not read it sooner

    5-0 out of 5 stars Daddy Long-Legs is a keeper and not be missed by anyone!
    This is a fantastic self-discovery story about an orphan girl who writes a series of oh-so truthful and simple but interesting letters to her anonymous guardian. The contents of these letters is where the reader gains insight into the the mind of a girl from the ages of 17 to 21. Oh and what a beautiful and engaging world it is!

    This really is one of those "timeless classics" but not something that has to be forced upon someone to read as a class assignment but a book one reads for pure pleasure. The book is very dated and that's what makes it so ironically "timeless". Because just as there may be difference between her time and our contemporary time, there are just as many similarities. The biggest one being that reading about someone discovering themselves and falling in love is always enjoyable and captivating when written this simply that it's profound.

    Even though I have put this book down, my mind has not. That is the effect of this simply beautiful and easy to read book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
    This is one of those books I read when I was a teenager and have read over and over again since. A fun, short read and one that gives insight into women's lives both in the past and today. One of the better books I have read that use the format of letter-writing to narrate a story too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic You Can Read in a Day
    I've read this book a few times, and every time I come back to it, I can't put it down. It's short (around 200 pages) & sweet. The book was published in 1912, and is one-of-a-kind, as it consists almost entirely of letters written by Judy. Judy is an orphan from the John Grier Home, an orphange she was raised in since she was a baby. Her future seems very bleak until one day she is unexpectedly offered the opportunity for a paid college education to become an author by one of the orphanage's trustees. In return, she has to write monthly letters to the unknown trustee who is known as Mr. John Smith. She calls him "Daddy-Long-Legs" because she saw his tall shadow as he left the building. Her letters are very entertaining, and often impertinent. That is really all I want to tell of the story, but here are a couple of quotes from the book that I loved:

    "It isn't the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh -- I really think that requires spirit."

    "I think the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding. It ought to be cultivated in children."

    5-0 out of 5 stars strong female book
    If any girl (5th grade and up) wants to read a book about a strong female lead, this is IT! Judy gets to go to college by an anonymous donor. She just has to write him a letter a month. No strings. See how Judy handles differences and the world around her. She is spunky! Great book for an independent read. I plan to use it in my classroom. ... Read more


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