A blog to keep up on what's happening for teens at Brooks Memorial Library including: • new books • events • resources available • fun website suggestions • ... and more.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Review: High School Never Ends: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

The review below is by Nell Curley, a library volunteer and reviewer for the Library's book column in the Reformer, For the Love of Books. Contact her at teenbrooks@gmail.com.

High School Never Ends: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar, January 2007,ISBN-13: 9780142407806, 288pp

In this humorous story, fourteen-year-old protagonist Scott Hudson is about to begin high school and hopes to survive the transition with the help of his lifelong group of friends. He also wants to catch the eye of the newly mature and beautiful Julia, a girl he knows from kindergarten, but who seems to have amnesia when it comes to his existence. Scott has a way with words and is an avid reader, although he is surrounded by people who prefer other activities to reading. Determined not to appear overly intelligent, he doesn't participate much in English class, but his teacher still admires his writing style and recommends that he write book reviews for the school newspaper. Due to a poor wardrobe choice, the head editor mistakes him for a sports fan and assigns him to the sports section instead. While Scott is forced to find creative ways of reporting on the basketball team's losing streak, the book reviews are taken over by the highly unpopular and talkative Mouth, whose recommendation of books about mutant vampires drive Scott crazy. Another character who befriends Scott is Lee, a girl with multiple piercings and an affinity for gothic poetry.

In addition to all the school drama, Scott discovers that his mother is having a third child. As a way of coping with this unwanted intrusion, Scott begins writing letters to his unborn sibling, half insults and half advice on how to survive high school. His letters to his soon-to-be sibling reflect the wisdom and life lessons that he learns throughout the school year, including what not to say to girls, why it's a good idea to stand up for people, and a list of do's and don'ts to avoid harassment from upperclassmen. The entries become increasingly more serious, as Scott learns several life lessons about confronting people on tough issues and admitting that he could have been a better person to a classmate in need. By the end of the book, Scott has matured and learned a lot about the value of new friends. He has also learned how quickly old ones can be lost.

Lubar uses common archetypal characters (the Unpopular Geek, the Rebel, the Smart Nice Kid, the Pretty Girl, and the Mean Jock) in his book that come as no real surprise to the reader, but he makes them both believable and unique. There is a myriad of issues addressed in the story, from sleep deprivation to attempted suicide to learning disorders. Fortunately, the story does not seem predictable and, thanks to Scott's amusing narrative, is never boring. I would recommend Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie to anyone who enjoys reading as much as Scott, or is experiencing their own first year of high school.

Nell Curley is an avid book reader and volunteers at the Library.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Writing Center to get help with your writing

Please see the press release below sent by Betsy Arney of the Commons.

Kids can get help with their writing for free.

Commons Writing Center: A Media Mentoring Project



The Writing Center is a place where youth from Windham County can find

one-on-one assistance and guidance from seasoned writing professionals

and trained peer mentors for school writing assignments or non-school

writing projects?all free of charge. Participants can expect to

receive constructive encouragement in aspects of writing such as

outlining and overall organization, stating a thesis clearly,

paragraph organization and line editing.

Contact us at 802-246-6397 or via e-mail: mmp@commonsnews.org

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