Archive for the ‘compassion’ Category

If you have been under a rock the last few months, let me help you escape. The Help is an entertaining, eye-opening, jaw-dropping novel about the lives of one young woman who is white, 23 years old, and in a southern protocol prison, and how two maids, “the help,” helped her escape.

The Help is about two extraordinary black maids, trying to make a living and trying to survive working for pennies for an array of fussy, social-climbing, vindictive white women. Before they know it they are authors and creating quite a stir in the town of Jackson, Mississippi. Didn’t live during 1962? Not a problem. You will get this book.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Kathryn’s Website




What are the chances of meeting yourself? Well, someone with your same name.

Two of the finest, funniest, quirkiest YA authors combine forces to create an entertaining novel that will appeal to guys, girls, anyone who likes a quirky, funny, ironic, aha novel. One Will Grayson is the longtime sidekick of Tiny Cooper. Through a crazy coincidence Will Grayson meets Will Grayson #2 in a sleazy Chicago porn shop. Both their lives are changed by knowing Tiny Cooper, the writer-director-producer-actor-singer who stars in a school musical based on Tiny’s life. In the climatic ending there is no doubt that love of others is. People are. John Green, David Levithan, I appreciate you both. You are both crazy-good writers.

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

Nerdfighters Website

David Levithan’s Website


What would you do for a person you love who is dying?

Rosie’s mom only has time for her affair with her married boss, while she and Rosie are mere strangers in the same house. She suggests to Rosie to visit her ill father on a daily basis. Granddad puts Rosie in charge of his piles: to toss or “In Trust.” Discovering a feather her Granddad reminisces how that particular feather came from a dancing dress of his wife, who loved to push back the furniture and dance for him. So Rosie bundled newspapers, tossed garbage and created a huge In Trust pile. Walking home she passed The House of Dance studio, and before long she made the decision to take lessons with the money that her dad sends. And for what reason?

ENDERS Rating: Touching, tender story of what is important

Beth Kephart’s Blog

As Chris left our high school he handed me the galley of AM. (Page numbered? Whew, we are good!) Enter a new anger management therapist, Nak, a Japanese cowboy therapist who has seen far too many teenagers suffer from AM, the name of his counseling sessions dedicated to a young man who always called the sessions Angry rather than Anger.

To begin each novella, Nak writes therapy notes on the young adults: Sarah Brynes and Angus Bethune, Montana West, Matt Miller and Marcus James. And then, let the emotion, the anger, the pathos, the epiphany begin!

As I read I said, “Oh, this is my favorite,” three times. Chris’ writing has never been better: eloquently sparse and band-aid-yanking raw. Love? It’s here. Prejudice? Oh yes. Hypocrisy? On open display. Strength? An upper-cut worth.

If you are a YA librarian, just save yourself some time and buy multiple copies. If you have been under a rock and are not a Crutcher fan yet, get your copy pre-ordered now!

ENDERS Rating: Beyond loving these haunting stories!

Chris Crutcher’s Website


Okay, this is not so much a review, but a reminder that the first book I reviewed on this site was 13RW by Jay Asher. After winning the WSL “One Book” grant for my high school community, encouraging the reading and studying it, Jay is coming on Monday. Whoo hoo!!!

Here is the local newspaper article promoting the visit. Thirteen Reasons: Why Jay Asher’s visit will rock R.A. Long written by Cathy Zimmerman. Of course, the fun, fun, fun layout of the article isn’t shown in the online article. For each of the 13 activities she listed, she enumerated each with two-inch tall red letters.

And don’t you love the photograph of our library club officers? Jay arrives Sunday to rabid fans. The English department and I are taking him out for a dinner that evening. As for Monday….check out the article!



Having traveled to Tennessee I can tell you about their yummy, comforting, calorie-enriched cooking. My sympathies go out to Rosemary “Rose Garden” Goode who is a fat and lovely and bright teenager living in a small town close to Nashville. Her mother has purchased a treadmill. Her aunt has purchased self-help diet books. They both nag her constantly about losing weight which, of course, totally flops. Between talking with a short-term counselor and the attentions of a “delightfully enormous, strapping jock,” Rosie has some positive motivation to use her intellect and propensity for self-talk to face multiple, solvable challenges. Another negative: she and her mother never talk about problems. Her mother says all is “fine” to each every question, even when she is diagnosed with a cancer. She faces the harassment of the Bluebirds (more like vultures) at her high school. Even as she loses weight the vultures do not stop attacking. Will Rosie make it to the prom in tact? Will the messages from her heart help her?

ENDERS Rating: Good enough for an Evergreen Nomination

Suzanne Supplee Website

If there is an “IT” book for 2008 this is IT.

Jay Asher has combined an unique voice with a subject that has interested him for years to poignantly depict the decline toward suicide.

The story is told jointly by Clay, one of the subjects on the 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah, the other narrator. The spooky thing for us as readers, and for Clay, is that Hannah is speaking from the grave through the tapes.

Why did Hannah choose Clay to receive the tapes? Who are the other 12 who also receive them? What effect do the tapes have on Clay?

Jay is visiting my high school in 2009. Whoo hoo!

ENDERS RATING: Had to read in 1 setting!

Jay Websites & Blogs:
Class of2k7
13RW Website
Author Interview