Gabe & Izzy : standing up for America’s bullied

From  Edna Susman
Author:  Gabrielle  Ford
Title:  Gabe & Izzy : standing up for America’s bullied
The author, Gabrielle Ford, developed a degenerative neuromuscular disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, at the age of 12 which eventually placed her in a wheelchair. She became the subject of constant bullying from classmates until she got a puppy, Izzy, who began to display similar muscular problems.  So began a supportive, uplifting relationship which they took on the road as public motivational speakers on an anti-bullying campaign. This is a timely story and helpful read, especially for young people with disabilities as well as those who bully or are bullied.

The Playground

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Ray Bradbury
The Playground
Charles Underhill wants to protect his 3 year old son Jim from bullies in the playground. Memories of his own tortured childhood keep him awake at night and he vows that his son will not suffer the same horrors. He makes a pact with the mysterious playground manager but only after the pact is set does he discover the true nature of the deal. Sometimes the subtle horrors are the most chilling; this is the case with Bradbury’s short story. This exclusive Kindle eBook is available on our circulating Paperwhite Kindle.


Dying on the Job: murder and mayhem in the American workplace

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Ronald D. Brown
Dying on the Job: murder and mayhem in the American workplace
Dying on the Job is not a read for the faint of heart. It discusses the rise in workplace violence and explores some of the possible reasons for this increase. The spike is attributed, in part, to the economic downturn, the scarcity of employment opportunities, the threat of losing the employment, etc. Due to the scarcity of employment and the increase in debt,  debtors’ prisons  are being revived in some states. The author, in addition, investigates the difference that gender plays in how much force and how quickly that force is deployed against coworkers and employers. Women, it turns out, are much quicker on the trigger but they carry less weaponry into the workplace. Men, if they decide upon an act of violence in the workplace, come armed to the teeth. They usually bear several arms, some knives and extra ammunition. This book was an eye-opener. As a somewhat informed person, I was aware of workplace violence but somehow only on the periphery. Reading this tome made me more cognizant of the fact that violence can occur anywhere and at any time.

Before I Fall

From Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Oliver, Lauren
Before I Fall
 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver revolves around eighteen year old Samantha Kinston and the last day of her life – over and over again. Cupid’s Day should have been just another day for Sam. She’d go to school with her best friends, park in the best parking spot, and get a rose from her gorgeous boyfriend as well as every other admirer in the school. Then she dies. Seven times, actually. Over and over again Sam relives the very last day of her life changing everything to save herself. Seven chances, seven tries, and only one way to get it right.

First impressions lead you to think that Sam is just another popular girl who has everything she could have ever wanted – and she is, at first. She makes judgments upon association and what it takes to stay at the top. After she dies, though, everything changes. Getting the opportunity to repeat the same day gives Sam a chance to make good on some of the mistakes she has made. She takes the opportunity to see people for who they really are and realizes that saving herself had nothing to do with what she thought it had.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Reading about the same day seven times may seem boring, but the way she lives it makes all the difference. The emotions are raw and the characters three-dimensional. Towards the end, when everything starts to fall into place, you’ll want to finish reading it, every period and comma.

Give a Boy a Gun

From Dominic, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Strasser, Todd
 Give a Boy a Gun 
The book “Give a Boy a Gun” by Todd Strasser was an excellent book. Although it contained graphic ideas, it discussed school shootings, an important issue faced by our society. This book puts you in the mind of a school shooter and it revealed what the two boys, Brendan and Gary had gone through and why they chose to try to take the lives of their fellow classmates. I liked this book mainly because it deals with bullying a problem many kids face in school that can have serious negative effects on their behavior. I would recommend this book to pre-teens and teenagers. I would recommend it to those types of people because the theme of the book would be easily understood by this age group.

The Skin I’m In

From Rhea, Teen Book Reviewer
author:  Flake, Sharon G.
The Skin I’m In
As the title and cover suggest the book is about an African American girl struggling with her racial identity, and more. Maleeka Madison attends an inner city school and is relentlessly teased by her classmates for her homemade clothes, her very dark skin and even her good grades. She is especially bullied by a girl named Charlese who makes her do all her homework and copies from her during tests. Despite all the work Maleeka does for Charlese she is often insulted and abused by her. Although, she knows she should not put up with any of the teasing and bullying, Maleeka does not have the courage to stand up for herself.

All of this changes when a new English teacher Miss Saunders arrives at McClenton Middle School. Miss Saunders takes an interest in Maleeka realizing her talent in writing. She tries to distance Maleeka and Charlese as she is very bad company for Maleeka. It is, however, hard for Maleeka to completely break free of Charlese. In the end, Charlese forces Maleeka to vandalize school property and deserts her when Maleeka is caught in the act. Finally, Maleeka gets the courage to stand up for herself and clear her name. She acquires a feeling of self worth and understands that it is important to like yourself for who you are and not what others may tell you.

In my opinion, the novel is very realistic and describes well how life is for kids in inner city schools. In the beginning, it was weird to read the kind of language and the way the characters spoke but as you go along the story it seems real and you don’t mind. Even though, we don’t live in those circumstances, one can empathize and you do feel good that Maleeka and Ms. Saunders win in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends

Nineteen Minutes

From Lisa  Kropp
author: Piccoult, Jodi
titl: Nineteen Minutes
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed.You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

So begins this tale about a high school student who, having been bullied his entire life, makes the decision to walk into his school one day armed with four guns, changing the course of life in a small New Hampshire town forever. This being a Jodi Piccoult novel, expect lots of twists and turns, as the inevitable is never truly what it seems to be in her writing. If you like mysteries and fiction based in part on actual events from the news, then throw this book into your beach bag this summer.