Category Archives: Quest Tale

On the Come Up

On the Come UpI will admit that hip hop and rap are a little bit outside of my wheelhouse, but I love the education I’m getting with this book!  Bri, the tough and talented protagonist is everything I want my students to be. She cares deeply for her family, is talented beyond her own knowing, and follows her dreams with the reckless abandon we only seem to find in our youth. I just want to buy her that pair of Timberlands!

“Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families” (Good Reads).

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The Hazel Wood

Image result for the hazel woodLove it! Love it! Love it!  Fairy tale and literary allusions abound! This modern day fairy tale, quest story is so very different than anything I’ve read recently. I got lost in it, just like Alice (and, yes, that’s an allusion to the original Alice – another favorite of mine!).

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”  (Good Reads)

Beyond the Bright Sea

Image result for beyond the bright seaWhat an amazing journey!  I absolutely fell in love with Crow. She’s just such a plucky, fearless, and independent young creature! The relationsip she has with her father and lady neighbor are reminiscent of another young favorite of mine, Scout Finch. This one will teach us all about the beauty of family, in whatever form that may find you. Loved it!

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. (Good Reads)

The Poet X

The Poet XI just love that poetry is back in fashion! This young poet is so full of thoughts, ideas, wonder, and talent. But she feels stymied by an overbearing and tremendously strict mother. It is difficult for X to fully express herself, and the climax of this novel when she finally does will stay with me forever!

 

 

“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself, ” (Good Reads).

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of KatherinesWhat a fun and sentitive romp this book is!  I love the quirky male protagonist. I love the crazy quest to find himself. And I especially love the oddball secondary characters he meets along the way that change his life forever.  This is a great book for boy readers who might be tired of action and dystopia. And anyone who loves to figure things out mathematically!

 

“Katherine V thought boys were gross.
Katherine X just wanted to be friends.
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail.
K-19 broke his heart.

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself,” (Good Reads)

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)This second book in the series suffers a bit from sophmore syndrome, but I enjoyed being back in the world of the scythedom very much. The best part for me was the apprentice/mentor portion of the text. Although at times the secondary story lines become a bit muddled, they do add depth and dimension to the story and save it from being too repetitive.

 

 

“Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?” (Good Reads).