Heavy Freight

Fifteen-year-old Maxwell Stone has been surviving and thriving in the tough part of East Vancouver by being smart and fast. But when a drug deal goes wrong, Max suddenly finds himself on the run from both the bad guys and the cops. Desperate to escape, Max impulsively decides to hop on a moving freight train. His first attempt to climb aboard fails, but at the last second a hand reaches down and pulls him in. Joseph has been riding the rails for years, and his tales inspire Max to take a journey to the last place he ever expected to go.

I looked forward to reading this book as it is written by Sigmund Brouwer and he doesn’t disappoint.  There is great action right from the start with awesome characters. A great story with important messages contained.  I highly recommend everyone read this book.

Chasing King’s Killer

In his meteoric, thirteen-year rise to fame, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a mass movement for Civil Rights — with his relentless peaceful, non-violent protests, public demonstrations, and eloquent speeches. But as violent threats cast a dark shadow over Dr. King’s life, Swanson hones in on James Earl Ray, a bizarre, racist, prison escapee who tragically ends King’s life.  Swanson transports readers back to one of the most shocking, sad, and terrifying events in American history. With an introduction by Congressman John Lewis, and over 80 photographs, captions, bibliography, various source notes, and index included.

A great book for history lovers.  Although I already knew about Martin Luther King it was a very interesting read to learn in-depth facts about him and James Earl Ray.  It was fascinating to read the details of Ray’s plan (but unfortunately one never actually learns the motive behind it) and how he eluded capture.  The book is filled with images of photographs and documents which many will find enjoyable.

Just in time for Christmas — new books in the Learning Commons

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

 

The Mask by Eric HowlingImage result for maple leaf

 

Shoot the Moon by Kate Watson

 

 

 

 

In the Buff by Vicki GrantImage result for maple leaf

 

The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith

 

 

Wildfire by Deb LougheadImage result for maple leaf

 

 

 

Sea of Shadows by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Empire of Night by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Forest of Ruin by Kelley ArmstrongImage result for maple leaf

 

Children of Blood and Bone

They killed my mother.  They took our magic.  They tried to bury us.  Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

This book didn’t appeal to me because of the title and also because it was a fantasy but once I started reading I was completely drawn in.  It is a great book with lots of action right from page one. It is told from the perspective of the four main characters so you get to know each of them well.  Although the book is a fantasy it’s main theme if very much a fact of life – how many are discriminated against and the losses they endure.

New and Exciting Reads

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

 

All We Ever Wanted – Emily Giffin

 

How They Croaked – Georgia Bragg

 

 

Bang – Barry Lyga

 

White Rabbit – Caleb Roehrig

 

Call The Shots – Don CalameImage result for maple leaf

 

 

 

Refugee – Alan Gratz

 

A World Below – Wesley King

Prince of Pot

Isaac loves art class, drives an old pickup, argues with his father and hangs out with his best buddy, Hazel. But his life is anything but normal. His parents operate an illegal marijuana grow-op, Hazel is a bear that guards the property, and his family’s livelihood is a deep secret.

It’s no time to fall in love with the daughter of a cop.

Isaac’s girlfriend Sam is unpredictable, ambitious and needy. And as his final year of high school comes to an end, she makes him consider a new kind of life pursuing his interest in art, even if that means leaving behind his beloved home in the Rockies and severing all ties with his family.

this was a great book.  Easy to read and quite action packed. The characters and their issues are very relatable even if the story line is maybe a bit of a stretch.

Escape From Syria

When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family.

Walid’s daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive — swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias — she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother.

This book gives a very short, almost abrupt, version of what occurred in Syria.  Some may enjoy this, I personally found it lacking. I would enjoy much more description and historical content. I found it to be very condensed, vague, choppy and jumpy.

 

History is All You Left Me

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

This book is written with chapters alternating from the present to history.  It’s deals with many different issues – mental health, LGBTQ, death – making this a very timely read. I quite enjoyed this book and feel it is a good read for all.

Goodbye Days

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Wow, just wow.  This book is amazing, it hits right in the heart.  The story of four friends, three killed in an accident and the fourth feeling he is to blame.  Throughout the story there are flashbacks to the four together so we get to know them as a group.  We also see the raw emotions of those that are left behind. It is a grim reminder of why texting while driving is such a bad thing.  And I’m not gonna lie, this book invoked tears from me on more than one occasion. It is a MUST READ.