Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm done whining now.

No. Really. I am.

I want to tell you about two books I just read. One is "The Only Alien On the Planet" by Kristen D. Randle, and the other is "Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie" by Jordan Sonnenblick.

Here's the back-cover blurb for "Alien": It was difficult for Ginny at first, but her senior year is finally starting to feel kind of normal. That is, until she sees him--the beautiful mystery boy in her English class. He has never spoken a word to anyone. He moves through each day at school without making eye contact. His name is Smitty Tibbs, but everyone calls him The Alien...

Ginny has moved to a new school in a new state just in time to start her senior year of high school. She meets Hally first, then Caulder. Caulder introduces her to his ever-silent, ever-withdrawn friend, Smitty. As the year progresses, Ginny and Caulder (along with Hally) begin to drag Smitty out of his personal isolation. Doing so rocks their perception of what friendship is supposed to be.

I cannot begin to tell you how this book moved me. The writing is superb, the story stunning. Find it and read it.

Now, here's the blurb for "Dangerous Pie": Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life (well, almost): He plays drums in the All-Star Jazz Band, has a crush on the hottest girl in school (who doesn't know he's alive), frequently finds himself sitting across from his school counselor (who bribes him with candy), and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey (who is cuter than cute). Oh, Steven has parents, too (the kind that embarrass him). But when Jeffrey gets sick, Steven's world is turned upside down as he is forced to deal with his brother's illness, his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece, the band, overdue homework, girls, and of course, Dangerous Pie (yes, you have to read the book to find out what that is).

In a debut that has won raves, Jordan Sonnenblick digs deep into the heart of a family in crisis with humor, hope, and impressive sensitivity.

Steven is terribly jealous of his brother, Jeffrey, and wishes all manner of ill-will his way. That is, until Jeffrey actually falls prey to a serious illness, when Steven would do anything at all to make him well. Even eat Dangerous Pie, if that would make it so Jeffery had never gotten sick in the first place. Any teen with much younger siblings will identify with Steven's mixed emotions regarding his brother prior to and following his diagnosis.

It made me cry, but in a good way, I promise.

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