Category Archives: New Books

The Zom-B Chronicles

The Zom-B Chronicles 

by Darren Shan

and reviewed by Liz Cohen

Hatchette Book Group, 2012

Zom-B Chronicles

The Zom-B Chronicles are a collection of 12 books which tell the story of the life and adventures of B Smith.  B is a high school student who is utterly bored and frustrated by life, until a virus breaks out in the high school and all of the students are locked in!

And who are the puss-covered guys hanging around the school, or the guy with owl-like eyes and a poochie stomach? Or Mr. Dowling, the maniacal clown, whose appearance is quite dreadful and who drips spiders from his mouth. I am sorry to say that you have to read pass the first book to find out. This collection of stories takes place in and around (and sometimes under) London. Chapters are short and the story moves quickly, with wickedly drawn pictures to help you feel scared or disgusted along the way. There are loads of bad guys and crazies, but who exactly is bad. It’s kind of hard to tell. And how will this end? Not the way you think.

These books are a great read for anyone who likes zombie books, and the author has a lot to tell us about human nature.

 

Polaris

Polaris

We have a new writer on the block!  Welcome to  LIZ COHEN, invaluable (read indispensable) member of our Winston community! Liz will be sharing some thoughts on books she is reading that she thinks many of our students will enjoy.  Liz has a soft spot for zombies, so wait for her rave reviews on those despicables. 

 

Review by LIZ COHEN

Polaris by Michael Northrop

(Scholastic, 2017)

Do you like an adventure tale? Swashbuckling sailors? Adventure on the  high seas?  Maybe?! How about this: do you like a science fiction story? People running from monsters? Maybe?! How about this: do you like a murder mystery? Scientists and sailors struck down by
the unknown? Maybe?! How about this: do you like an all-boy book? Or an all-girl book? Hang onto your backpacks because this book has it all!

The Polaris is a sailing ship on a mission to the Amazon jungle looking for new plant-life. The botanist finds something else, and brings it back to the ship. What is in the trunk stored in the hold of the ship? Before you can find out, half of the ship’s crew dies, and the other halfabandon ship while trying to blow it up! The only people left are the cabin boy, the botanist’s assistant, and some deck hands, and none of them are older than 12. How will they get back to
America? They will have to sail the ship back while fighting stormy seas and the mysterious thing in the hold.

This book would be great for a book report, a diorama, a poster, or just a good read.
(Best for 5th and 6th graders.)

Ready to Fall: Being stronger means letting go

Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley

2017, 360 pgs. , 14 and up novel,

Too many books and too little time, so I am shamelessly posting a Kirkus Review of this book. Ready to Fall is worth checking out.  Marcella Pixley  is a true and masterful tale teller and writes what she understands.  It comes as no surprise that she teaches eighth-grade English.

Ready to Fall

Kirkus Review, August 2017:

Desperate to cling to something of his mother’s after her death, 16-year-old Max believes he has invited her tumor into his brain and that it is slowly killing him.

Max is increasingly withdrawn, lost, and strange. His father, desperate to help him with his grief, enrolls him in an exclusive school filled with eccentric artists. There, Max meets Fish, a bubbly girl with pink hair, and her band of misfit friends. Max also meets the curmudgeonly creative-writing teacher, who uses unorthodox methods to force Max to talk about his pain. He has a breakthrough during a staging of Hamlet, in which each cast member is forced to confront his or her own ghosts. Max’s tightrope walk between sanity and insanity will resonate with anyone suffering from a loss. While he must find a way to live again, it takes the combined efforts of his wild friends, his devoted family, and a few dedicated and eccentric teachers. Lyrical prose, fresh and compelling images and unforgettable characters create an experience that will stay with readers far past the last page. The principals are white and Jewish, but the school boasts students of many races, religions, and sexual orientations.

Grief becomes something oddly beautiful—and beautifully odd. (Fiction. 14-18)

 

 

The Icarus Show: Do you believe a boy can fly?

The Icarus Show 

By Sally Christie

Recommended for Upper Elementary through Middle School

 217 pgs. I

“Alex has worked out a foolproof plan to avoid being picked on. Don’t react. It’s so simple, it just might work.”  

David Marsh, on the other hand, has chosen his own relentless path, and will suffer for it.  Alex who can be such a wuss agonizing over some bully creeps is nonetheless intrigued by David and finds himself drawn into his company.  Alex lands up helping David build his project.  The plot unfolds towards a dark revelation when Alex comes to understand something about David’s motives. This read gets tense. I think you will enjoy it!

The myth of Icarus: “Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’ father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned.”  Wikipedia