Looking for some good books to read? Why not check out what the Blue Duke himself is reading? That's right. The Blue Duke has his own reading blog. Read about the books and then get to the library to "check them out!"
Walsh, Ann. FLOWER POWER
Custer, WA : Orca Book Publishers, 2005
IL 5-8, RL 3.8
Callie's mother is up a tree. Really, it's true. Dian Powers has chained herself to a tree. Callie is so embarrassed about this. Sure her mother has done some odd things in her life but this is a bit much. Their neighbor told Dian that he is cutting down the tree. This tree has so many memories for both families, it just needs to be saved. The tree house is actually in the Powers' yard but the tree belongs to the neighbor. And now there are reporters all shouting to be heard, there is a group of Singing Grammies singing protest songs, Mr. Wilson's motorcycle buddies shouting at the Grammies, neighbors furious about the mess, and now the police. How is Callie going to cope with all this?
Wescott, Shelbi. VARIABLES
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2014
In the last book of the series, we find the groups getting ready to move to their new homes. The underground System is being left behind. There are several islands that have been built to house the new utopian society. When the assignments are given, several families find that they are assigned to the island home that is not ready. They are to stay behind in the System while everyone else begins their new lives in beautiful new societies. When Lucy and her family arrive at their new home, they find a remarkable community with amazing views. But Lucy can't be happy because Grant has been left behind and will be shipped to the last island when it is finished. Her father tried to get Grant transferred but was not successful. Lucy feels that something is just not right about all this. Huck is getting more and more controlling and it is becoming obvious that you don't go against Huck or there are consequences. Even before the move to the islands, one of the Systems dared to question him and all their power was shut off. And there are whispers of discontent even on the governing board. With Huck in total control, what can the survivors do but go along with his every demand. But what happens when his actions become known?
Wescott, Shelbi. THE SYSTEM
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2013
It has been a week since the virus was released that killed the world. Well, most of it. There are very few survivors. Lucy and her brother Ethan were vaccinated against the virus. You see, their father is the one who created the virus. Scott left a few backup doses of the vaccine and Ethan has used them to save others. But Ethan is in trouble. He had an accident and is danger of losing his life to infection. Lucy and her friend Grant have set off for Nebraska in a hot air balloon. This is where they believe Lucy's father is. They believe that he will send rescuers to help Ethan and protect the rest of their small survivors group. Meanwhile in the underground System, Huck is moving forward on his plans to wipe out all life on earth and start again in his own utopia. When Lucy and Grant arrive at the System, they are greeted with mixed emotions. Lucy is allowed to join her family but when Huck learns that Grant survived the virus, he instructs Scott to develop a new virus to kill those who survived the first strike. He must kill Grant. And what about Ethan and the others back in Portland? Will he allow them to live?
Wescott, Shelbi. VIRULENT
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2013
Lucy King is not having a great day. Her family is about to go on a vacation of a lifetime and yet her teachers are giving her grief for missing school. They are probably just jealous. But things are not what they seem. Little could anyone know what is really going on. On the day of their trip, Lucy and her brother Ethan sneak out and are left behind. And now the world is going crazy. People are dropping dead all over. And Lucy is stuck in lockdown at school. That doesn't stop the virus and teachers and students begin to die quickly. By the end of the day, most of the world's population has died. Lucy is among the few that are still alive. They must find a way out of the school and try to figure out what is happening. As days pass, things become more desperate and when the kids finally get out of the school, they come face to face with the enormity of the situation. Who is behind this? And how will it end?
Uchida, Yoshiko. JOURNEY HOME
New York : Aladdin, 1992
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
The world is at war again and for Yoki and her family, even living in the United States is not safe for them. The family has been forced to leave their home in California because of their Japanese heritage. It is against the law for Asians to live along the coast. The family was moved to a detention camp in the desert of Nevada. Life was hard, but eventually the family was allowed to relocate to Utah. They have lost just about everything they had before the war. Her father has had to take menial work and her mother now works as a cleaning lady. Her brother has joined the army and is fighting in Europe. Yuki won’t give up hope of returning to her home in Berkeley. When the war ends and the family is told they can go home, Yuki is so excited. But reality is not what she expected. Her father can’t get his old job back. Their house is now rented out to a new family. Her best friend has moved on and now has new friends. And her brother has been injured in the war and is in a hospital in Washington. How will the family be able to start anew after living through so much?
Terrell, Brandon. DODGER DREAMS : THE COURAGE OF JACKIE ROBINSON
New York : Stone Arch Books, 2010
Max loves baseball and especially the Dodgers. As an African American, he is particularly fond of Jackie Robinson. Robinson is the only African American player in all of baseball. Although the Dodgers have the reputation of being a lousy team, this year they made it to the World Series. But they are up against the Yankees and no one thinks the Dodgers have a chance. When Max receives tickets to the game for his birthday, he feels he is the luckiest boy in the whole world. His first game, his first World Series and seeing his idol, Jackie Robinson.
Strasser, Todd. FALLOUT
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 5.3
It's 1962 and the world has become a very dangerous place. Russia is attempting to put nuclear missiles into Cuba and President Kennedy has told them that it would mean war. Everyone is talking about the possibility of nuclear war. Some believe that it will never happen. Some don't want to think about it at all. But some, like Scott's dad believe that it is a good idea to prepare just in case. So he installs a bomb shelter. Scott and his brother think it is kind of cool. Scott's friends and their families think he is an idiot. Scott's mom is not happy about it but goes along with it. Even at school, the kids are taught to duck and cover in case of a bomb but no one really believes that it will happen. But it does. And Scott's family finds their neighbors fighting to get into the shelter just as hard as his dad is fighting to keep them out.