Archive for the ‘self esteem’ Category


What kind of man will create an unbearable family life because of his professional humiliation?

One son leaves to work in China. Another son does not return from college to visit home. They both leave their sister and mother to suffer from the emotional and verbal whippings of the father. They had their share. But Terra carries an extra burden, a large port wine birthmark that covers the side of her face. Another target for needling from her father. Terra’s mom takes her to Seattle for yet another attempt to cure the birthmark. On their way home they spin out on ice and rear-end Jacob and his mother’s SUV. And here starts amazing friendships that heal birthmarks deeper than the skin. Terra and her mother learn about themselves in…China!

You will not like the dad, but you will cheer for everyone else in this amazing story.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Justina Headley Chen’s Blog


Meg is the younger sister of the amazing Cara, her T2P2 (the Totally Perfect Person), and feels she will never measure up to Cara’s popularity, beauty, brains, or a fine catch of an uber-popular boyfriend. Meg is a klutz, with a little art talent and a few buddies at school. So she decides to start a private blog with some VBFs that she has met at camp and youth group from her dad’s congregation. She shares her family’s deep, dark secret and eventually what she sees as the solution, and her VFBs give her the support she needs. In the meantime, Meg meets Jeremy, the quiet and soon to be world fam artist from the school’s advanced art group. Lucky for this reader, Meg writes in her blog in normal American, while her friends respond in text-ese. But that is fine as there is a text glossary which is tefw. I was a little disappointed that the friends didn’t enter the actual story. Maybe another time. Cheryl is an expert in mean girl/women behavior. Check out her other books.

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

Cheryl Dellasego’s Website


No doubt, I am an official Catherine Ryan Hyde fan!

When Bill is taken by their grandparents but she is not, Cynnie is devastated and starts to implode. She sinks farther and farther into an abyss. In her reappearance she discovers how she is like and unlike her mother, a difficult discovery. The ending is perfect!

Another great story from the author of Pay It Forward!

ENDERS’ Rating: 5 stars!

Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Terrific Website



Ernie tries to keep a low profile, a challenge since his large size marks him “fair game” to taunts and tricks of high school jocks. The new guy, Will, his Jack Sprat, defends Ernie. The bullying escalates. Luckily, the boys have more in common than the school terrorizing. They are fishermen: Ernie is into freshwater trout, and Will is into open ocean. The boys decide to introduce each other to their style of fishing, Will’s first. Will’s father launches Ernie, Will and Sam, Will’s ornery little brother, into the brink alone while he scurries to the closest bar. Catching “THE ling” quickly escalates into a horrible accident that changes Will forever. For a short time the jocks avoid the boys, but then Ernie is brutally attacked and Will plots revenge for his friend. Ernie’s Uncle Max, a writer and Ernie’s guru, tells him that he needs to follow his gut feelings, to act rather than wait. Will Ernie act soon enough?

ENDERS’ Rating: Heavy topic in a quick and compelling package!

CRH’s Website


The dynamic trio that make Van Etten has created another entertaining saga of poor Mallory, inspiration and writer for her own soap opera “Likely Story.” (Sorry I have only a photo of Levithan, but he is cute and he writes amazing books). Mallory’s heartaches continue as her nemesis, Alisha, has joined forces with Alexis to bring her down. Mother-dearest is still prickly. And Mallory is not going to take any of it any more! She begins an offensive against those opposed to her with the climax the night of the Emmys when her soap and actors are nominated for four awards after just a few months of televising. WHAT IS SHE THINKING??? Join the fray and read the series. Just for fun. (FYI: There is a cover band in Southern California by the same name).

ENDERS’ Rating: Soap fans will enjoy the inside jokes and drama

Likely Story Website


Liam is handsome as his striking model mother is beautiful. He wears the best designer clothing, he has style, he has magnetism, he does not have his father’s love.

Caught in a compromised position, drunk, on top of his father’s desk, with an ugly girl he normally would not even glance at, Liam is sentenced to moving to Nevada with his grandparents, his version of Siberian exile with Stalin as his roommate. His beautiful but emotionally blugeoned mother intercedes by leaving his uncle’s telephone number for Liam to call and beg mercy. Now Aunt Pete is quite a difference from the grandparents, and a secret solution kept from his father. Liam packs his amazing wardrobe and toiletries to find himself in a roach-infested trailer without a closet or an iron. As the story unfolds, the reader sees that Liam’s mother is not the only casualty.

Written in her amazingly funny, poignant style, Going delivers another illuminating teenage story for us to consider. If you have not read Saint Iggy or Fat Kid Rules the World….stop that right now! Love the cover, btw.

ENDERS Rating: More, more!!!

K.L. Going’s Website


One week from today Chris Crutcher will be visiting my high school. I first met Chris on the heels of a nasty challenge to his book Stotan! that I used in my Battle of the Books. (No pun intended!) That was in 1990 close to the beginning of my education career, and here I am, drawing closer to the end, seeing Chris Crutcher once again.

To prepare the students for his visit we have read “Guns for Geeks,” a short story, and an excerpt from Stotan! in our ninth grade advisories. I bought lots of copies of his books so students could check them out and get ready for his visit. Some classes read his books and created posters about them.

It was fun reading his books again. Chris’ humor is glib, intelligent, sassy. His messages about friendship, tenacity and surviving are always appropriate.

Deadline is his latest book, published just last year. Ben discovers that he is very ill and orders the doctor not to tell anyone. Ben is 18. He wants to experience everything he can in his senior year. All 128 pounds of Ben tries out for football, and his reckless abandon ends up being a true access to the team. He finds love. He begins to tire.

Another favorite is Whale Talk in which TJ is begged to be the swim team for a coach avoiding wrestling. He assembles a motley crew of social and emotional casualties to become the swim team that earns letters to the despair of “true jocks.”

The Sledding Hill shows the strength of friendship after death, and offers a treatise on censorship. Chris Crutcher, the character and author, enjoys the stage for a short time during a censorship hearing.

Chinese Handcuffs introduces Dillon, torn between two young women, trying to live with the violent death of his brother, and succeeding at irritating Mr. Caldwell at school. He knows that Jen is hiding a secret and is determined to learn more about her. All of the young people in Chinese Handcuffs are heavily into damage control with their lives.

Kelly, Chris’ assistant, promises me a ARC of Angry Management to review. It is out in July at a book store near you.



ENDERS Rating: We are talking required reading here!

Chris Crutcher’s Website



I love this book more every time I think about it.
It is so spot-on about the isolation felt by high schoolers. The story begins with the obvious outsiders: a crazy-haired ten-year-old Henry, new to the neighborhood and alone with his dictionary; and an introspective junior, Alex, who cannot reclaim himself after drinking poison at a party. Alex’s friends and brother, senior-success-story James, distance themselves from him, unable to connect with someone who tries to knock himself off. How weird is that, anyway? So who catches Henry’s eye, but Alex, a lifeline that Henry grabs when his mother disappears for a few days.
In the next chapter James begins his narration about the distance between him and his abnormal brother, his inability to bond to very sexy Alice, his worries about acceptance to Duke, and the boring craziness of senior year and all its parties. Added to this, Alex’s former buddy Trevor, hovers around him like a fruit fly.
In the alternating narrations Alex and James find themselves circling each other to reestablish their brotherhood. Only when Alex discovers running and Nathan can the brothers reconnect. As they both worry about Henry they discover the goodness and compassion in each other.
Yep, really liked this one.

ENDERS Rating: Great for mature teens not afraid to look in the mirror.

Martin’s Website