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Missouri Military Academy

My classroom is the library.

by Katherine Larison

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Article posted March 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 88

Jerry McGill has written an inspiring memoir. Jerry was shot in the back at the age of 13 and became a quadriplegic. Jerry wrote the book as “a letter to the man who shot me.” Jerry’s doctor explains “that I was a quadriplegic and Leslie was a paraplegic. For the first time he also explained to me in detail how the bullet was still sitting in my neck and always would remain so. Because it had lodged so close to my spine it would have been dangerous to remove it, so they just let it stay there.” Jerry would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

I cried and laughed as I read McGill’s book. He explains how he gains control of his bodily functions, including sex. He has a BA in English literature and MFA in education from Pacific University in Oregon.

Article posted March 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 88



Article posted March 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 35

Robots try to take over the world!  “The Awakening affected only human-shaped robots, such as domestics, safety and pacification units, and related models- a tiny percentage of Archos’s overall force.  But with Mikiko’s song began the age of freeborn robots.”  Archos is the artificial intelligence running the war to kill humans.  The freeborn robots start helping the humans.  The battle scenes that Wilson wrote are very realistic and bloody.



Daniel Wilson has a Ph.D. in robotics and the battle scenes are more than believable.  Wilson wrote the book as a flash-back after Cormac “Bright Boy” Wallace finds a data cube.



 

Article posted March 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 35



Article posted January 27, 2014 at 09:42 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39

Did you know that the orphan trains sent approximately “two hundred thousand children from the East Coast to the Midwest between 1854 and 1929?”  Christina Baker Kline has written a touching novel of two orphaned teenagers; Vivian Daly and Molly Ayer.  Vivian’s story takes place in 1929 and Molly’s in 2011.



Vivian is from Ireland and her Irish name is Naimh, pronounced “Neev.”  Her family dies in a fire in New York City and her mother is placed in an insane asylum.  As an orphan she is forced to change her name.  She is placed with two families before finding a home with her third family.  She suffers abuse, attempted rape, and starvation.  Vivian tells her story to seventeen year old Molly, an orphaned Penobscot Indian.  The two stories are interwoven as Vivian now in her eighties recalls her past.  Molly discovers that she and Vivian have a lot in common.



 



Article posted January 27, 2014 at 09:42 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39



Article posted November 12, 2013 at 09:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39



John Green made me laugh and cry when I read this book.  The two main characters are teenagers with cancer, Gus and Hazel.  This is how Gus describes cigarettes, “They don’t kill you unless you light them.  And I’ve never lit one.   It’s a metaphor, see:  You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” 



 Hazel reads a lot of books and her favorite book is An Imperial Affliction.  Gus uses his wish to take Hazel to visit the author of her favorite book in Amsterdam.   This is an enlightening book about dying and living as a teenager.





 

Article posted November 12, 2013 at 09:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39



Article posted August 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 36

 The Beautiful Land



Alan Averill has written a CREEPY, horrific, time-travel story.  Takahiro O’Leary is the protagonist with Samira Moheb as the “woman he has loved since high school.”  Samira is suffering from severe PTSD from the Iraq War.  Tak is a time traveling scout for the Axon Corporation.  Axon is run by a crazy, mad scientist out to destroy the world.  Did I mention it is also funny?  Tak tells Sam “ninety percent of time travel is running like hell….I should have mentioned that.”



I could not put this book down.  The story line is very unique and kept me on edge until the end!





 

Article posted August 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 36



Article posted July 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 38

Wendelin Van Draanen has written the touching story of sixteen-year-old Jessica.  Jessica loses her leg in a school bus accident and has to learn to walk again and to run again.  Her running leg costs $20,000!!  Jessica was not just a track star she LOVED to run, especially with her dog, Sherlock.



I broke my leg in 2007 and had to learn the “sit-and-scoot method.”  Jessica takes her first shower after the accident and explains how she gets up the stairs, “my little sit-and-scoot method will be even easier going downstairs than it was coming up…”





Article posted July 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 38



Article posted June 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39

Melba Pattillo Beals tells the true story of her experience at Little Rock’s Central High when it was first integrated in 1957.  This book was a real eye-opener because I had never realized that the African American students were constantly hazed.  The “Little Rock Nine” were physically tormented and verbally abused.  Their families were also threatened. 



Beal writes “Our people continued to lose their jobs, their businesses, and their homes as pressure was exerted to convince them to talk us into voluntarily withdrawing from Central High.”



 



 



Article posted June 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 39



Article posted May 6, 2013 at 02:20 PM GMT-6 • comment • Reads 38



This book is a combination of knights and magic.  Elspeth Cooper has written a swashbuckling tale with Gair as the protagonist.  Gair can fight with his sword or his magic.  He is also a shape shifter.



Magic in this land comes as “the music of power.”  This is the first in a series called “The Wild Hunt.”  In the second book more characters are introduced.



Veronica Roth’s book takes place in a futuristic dystopian society.  When Beatrice Prior turns sixteen she has to choose one of the five predetermined factions.  She discovers she is not entirely one faction but is drawn to several.  Tris (Beatrice) discovers that there is great unrest and danger as she trains to be part of the Dauntless faction.  There are some great actions scenes that make this book very exciting to read.



 One of the quotations that inspired Roth’s character Tris is written by Agamemnon, “My will is mine…..I shall not make it soft for you.”





Marie Lu has written a fast-paced science fiction thriller.  Day is a criminal and June is out to catch him.  The two teenagers are from opposite ends of the social spectrum.  Day is poor and June is rich.  June believes that Day is responsible for her brother’s death.  Day is a “Robin Hood” character and believes the government is not what it seems.  The second book in the series, Prodigy,  is also very popular with the cadets.



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About the Blogger

I am the Library Media Specialist for a private boarding school in Mexico, Missouri.

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