murder (4)

Book Review: Girl on the Run

Girl on the Run
by Abigail Johnson
Pub Date: 06 Oct 2020 
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LOVED IT! Is there such a thing as a 6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐review? 
Fast paced and tight, I read this book in an afternoon. I was engaged by the characters and the plot. I enjoyed being able to anticipate where things were going or where they had come from. I sometimes get frustrated trying to follow a thriller's flow of information, and I sometimes think the authors do it on purpose for some kind of gotcha. Abigail Johnson didn't confuse me, purposefully or not. She allowed the readers to explore both with the characters and to make suppositions on their own without making the readers feel duped or slow-witted.
Recommend this book to readers who like Amazon's Hanna.
As an aside, it did help that I grew up and worked near the story's setting; although, the geography itself could have been anywhere with regards to the story. It was just fun for me to read of places I know: Bridgeton, Cheltenham, Perkasie, Elkins Park, etc. 
I can't wait to put this in to my high school readers' hands.
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Book Review: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Book Review: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

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publish date: May 8, 2018

Sarah Crossan brought me into a world I don't think I'll ever encounter in my own life, but she brought me into it nonetheless. Great job helping me to be a part of someone else's life, especially when I'd have no understanding otherwise.

What it is like having your older brother on death row, having a family that can barely take care of itself, having the seesaw conviction of unconditional love with others telling you to forget about your brother... mix in a great [unexpected] plot twist... creates a story full of sympathy, doubt, and life.

I really enjoyed Crossan's writing style; it helped with the rhythm of the story and with the personalities of the characters. Not quite prose paragraphs and not quite verse novel, the format added motion and emotion to the narrative.

I read this right before I read, The Hate U Give, and Moonrise is it's own unique tale, not derivative or redundant, and it provides a great addition to the repertoire of life stories I never would encounter without the aide of Angie Thomas or Sarah Crossan

I can see this book working for a YA book club, especially because of the moral issues tackled: death sentence, race, poverty, family, and addiction.

I'm looking forward to having this book in my high school library.

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October Mourning by Leslea Newman

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew ShepardOctober Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to thank Lauren Strohecker for this wonderful gift to our library and with it her advice that it is a must read for young adults. I wholeheartedly concur; in 68 poems in this spare, yet piercing novel in verse, the author was scheduled to speak at Matthew Shepard's college and found out just before about the savage beating this young man received. Leslea Newman kept her keynote engagement and spoke and wept at the sheer horror of this hate crime toward an innocent victim who succumbs to death 5 days later. Newman has taken many elements of Matthew Shepard's last hours and imagined what may have been; the road, the fence he was lashed to, the biker, the murderers, the pistol, the deer and so much more. This book is a tribute to Matthew Shepard who died as a result of a hate crime at the hands of gay haters. This book is also a history lesson that every child, young adult and reader needs to explore because in the reading of this book, you will be changed. This book needs to be read by everyone.
I especially gained even more knowledge through the author's introduction, her epilogue, her afterword, notes, explanation of poetic forms and resources. Newman brings sympathy, anger, sorrow, and compassion to each and every word in this book. Highly recommended.

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Cold Skin by Steven Herrick

Cold Skin is a novel in verse that takes place after World War II in a mining town in Barruga, Australia. The story is told from many different characters' points of view who are listed at the beginning of the novel and their name is repeated when they tell their side of the story. Most of the men in Barruga have come back from the war, Albert Holden drove a truck but did not fight during the war. Mayor Paley never went to war and Jack O'Connor saw too much fighting. Albert's sons, Eddie and Larry, couldn't be more different. Eddie is ridiculed by his teacher in school and wants to work in the mines. His father refused to go back down in the mines (won't entertain Eddie working in the mines) and now does manual labor on someone else's farm. Larry Holden loves learning, and sees it as a way out of town. Both Father and son, Larry, enjoy drinking too much, as do many of the other men in town on Friday evenings after a tough week. It is on one of these Friday nights, that a young sixteen-year-old girl is missing and later found dead. Every man in Barruga is suspect and the spare verse by Herrick, paints a picture of revenge, cowardice, and twisted justice while also probing the friendship of Eddie and Sallie as it slowly becomes love.
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