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Monday, October 14, 2013


This is for those of you who love zombie books! This quick read, Contaminated, by Em Garner is about strong Velvet Ellis who has been left to raise her little sister, Opal, when their parents are affected by an epidemic that alters peoples' genes. The epidemic was first thought to be caused by contaminated water used in a popular protein-based weightloss drink. The beginning of the story finds Velvet looking for her mom at a kennel - a place the contaminated zombie-like people called Connies are held until a family member claims them. All Connies released back into public are fitted with a collar that is supposed to shock them into calmness so they don't get violent. The general public is unaccepting of the released Connies; thus, Velvet and Opal soon find themselves kicked out of their government-aided housing unit. Everything appears to be hopeless as Velvet continues to face adversity until her mom starts to show signs of understanding and Velvet meets a caring teen who is determined to help them. Definitely see a book two coming...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Knife of Never Letting Go

I was familiar with author, Patrick Ness, from reading A Monster Calls – which had me sobbing into endless amounts of Kleenex. You can read my review in a previous post. I just started this fall as the Librarian of a high school. My students are very busy with required reading and research, but the ones reading for pleasure all told me that I had to read his Chaos Walking trilogy starting with The Knife of Never Letting Go. I love student recommendations more than anything – they always know the next book to read. Although this book is 479 pages long, it is a quick read. In this futuristic world in Prentisstown, although there are many men, there is only one boy, Todd, who will turn into a man in a month. All the women and girls have been killed by the germ released by the Spackles, enemies encountered when humans discovered the New World. The germ not only killed the females, but left all the males able to hear the thoughts of each other and all animals. There is endless NOISE created from the thoughts of men that takes all peace away until Todd and his dog, Manchee, discover the quiet in the forbidden swamp. Todd is given a book written by his mother and told to run away from Prentisstown. He leaves knowing that everything he has been told his entire life is uncertain. He discovers the quiet is actually a girl orphaned by an accident. The townsmen want both of them and are leading an army to attack. The hardest part for me was reading the misspellings in the text which Ness did to assert Todd’s lack of education. This book was so suspenseful – my students were right, it is a must read! I can’t wait to read Book 2 – The Ask and the Answer. The author answers questions about his Chaos Walking trilogy in the video below.