Tag Archives: books

Young Adult – Uglies

“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”

How can you not be impressed with a first line like that? Irreverent, yet deliciously descriptive at the same time, it gets Uglies by Scott Westerfeld off to a bang-up start. And the book doesn’t stop there. It manages to be an adventure, coming-of-age, social commentary, and all-around good read. There is something for every reader here!

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, a day she has been looking forward to for most of her life. In the not-so-distant future every receives plastic surgery at sixteen, so that all adults in the world are incredibly beautiful. Tally, pre-surgery, is sick and tired of being an Ugly. But then her new friend Shay starts talking about running away, saying that she doesn’t want the surgery. Tally thinks Shay is crazy, but is soon caught up in circumstances beyond her control. While posing as a spy in a renegade community, Tally starts to question the values she has grown up with her entire life. What does it mean to be pretty? And in the long run, is being pretty the most important factor in life?

The description sounds preachy, but the book certainly is not. Filled with hair-raising adventure, hoverboard chases, and mischief galore, the book flies past quickly, hardly allowing us to catch our breath as we hurdle from one mishap to the next.

Other Books by This Author:

Pretties, Specials, Extras (all part of the Uglies series), The Midnighters trilogy, So Yesterday, Peeps

Early Reader of the Day – My Friend is Sad

Certainly Mo Willems does not need anyone promoting his books for him. He’s won the Newbery Honor Award twice (first for Knuffle Bunny and second for its sequel KnuffleBunny Too) and his newest effort, a series of early readers has garnered critical and popular praise, winning him the Theordore Suess Geisel Award for early readers.

And yet his Elephant and Piggie series is just so wonderfully delicious that even with all of the free publicity that Mr. Willems has received via the awards, I just can’t help showering him with more. My Friend is Sad is my personal favorite of the series so far. Gerald the Elephant is sad. His friend Piggie attempts to cheer him up by dressing up as various characters, only to discover that Gerald is sad because he is missing her. The text is incredibly simple, as befits an early reader book. The illustrations are exquisite. Simple line drawings set against a blank background, the pictures are drawn with incredible skill in depicting body language. It would be entirely possible to follow the storyline based solely on the expressive illustrations. This is an important consideration when a reader who is very new to the skill is attempting to read a new text. When pictures support the text, it makes it much easier to create meaning from the words.

The entire series is highly recommended.

Other books by this author:

KnuffleBunny, Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct.