Monthly Archives: February 2013

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

living dead girl

Bibliographic information: Living Dead Girl. Elizabeth Scott. Simon Pulse, 2008. $16.99. 170p. ISBN-13:  9781416960591.
Summary: She was kidnapped by Ray five years ago when she was just 10 years old and he named her Alice. For five years Ray has taken care of Alice and taught her how to be a good little girl, by his standards. These past five years have been so hard on her that she would rather be dead than alive. Constantly being abused sexually, mentally, and physically she is trying to help Ray find a replacement “Alice” to take her place so that she can finally be free.
Reading level and interest level: RL: 16 and up IL: 15 and up
Review: Written in a first person narrative through the thoughts of “Alice,” this book really speaks to the reader about the pain and conflict the main character is facing. The writing style and language adds to the character development and you can see through the text how “Alice” has not aged much in mind beyond her 10 years when she was kidnapped. She has learned new things, but they are primarily way to please Ray and keep him happy. Anybody facing a similar situation would be able to read this book and understand their thoughts and emotions a little better. And they would know that they are not alone in their pain.
Readers’ annotation: Once upon a time she was not named Alice and she did not live with Ray. That was five years ago and now she is 15 years old. 15 is how old the last Alice was before Ray got rid of her.
Bibliotherapeutic usefulness: This book covers the issues of sexual abuse from a parent figure. It touches lightly on mental and physical abuse as well. This book could act as an example for teens who are living in similar situations and they will know that they are not alone, there are others out there that are in the same situation. This book could help teens work through their situation and maybe make it better or encourage them to seek help.
Issues present: There is sexual abuse, as well as, mental and physical abuse being done to a minor that parents or some teachers might find to be offensive or disturbing for their teenagers to read. However, this book is filled with emotions that will speak to teens in similar situations or who may know somebody in a similar situation. Even if they were not kidnapped and sexually abused, but perhaps they are being abused by a parent figure in some way. This title rings with truth and familiarity that teens will be able to understand and use as a coping mechanism or it will show them that they can get help from others.
Booktalk ideas: Chapter 19 starting on page 33 describes the plot.
The last two sentences on page 32 show the reasoning for the plot.
Page 164 describes the main character’s situation.
Once upon a time, there was a girl and her name was not Alice…continue to talk about “Alice.”
Genre or subject: Realistic fiction, social issues, sexual abuse and kidnapping
Readalikes: Hope in Patience by Beth Felhbaum, Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Author’s website: http://www.elizabethwrites.com
Awards and lists: An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2009); Iowa High School Book Award Nominee (2011)
Links to reviews: Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4169-6059-1; School Library Journal: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6610636.html
Why I chose it: The title is what drew me in, I was intrigue about how you could be living and dead at the same time. After reading the book it makes complete sense to me. Also, the first three sentences of the inside cover pull you in and make you want to find out what happened to that little girl.

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Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Bibliographic information: Boy Meets Boy. David Levithan. Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. $8.99. 185p. ISBN-13:  9780375832994.
Summary: Paul’s school is unlike any other. His best friend since kindergarten, Joni, is dating a new guy that puts a strain on their relationship. His other best friend cannot leave his home unless it is with a girl. Kyle, Paul’s ex-boyfriend suddenly becomes too friendly. And Rip, the school bookie, is placing bets on who Paul will end up with. Things are not looking good for Paul. But the biggest distraction is Noah, who changes everything in Paul’s life.
Reading level and interest level: RL: 12 and up IL: 8th grade and up
Review: Cleverly written in the first person point of view by Paul, the protagonist of this story, Boy meets boy is a wonderful book about being comfortable with who you are, just the way you are. Paul brings the story of his life to the forefront and carries the reader through with humor and poise. It has great character development because you get to see Paul and his friends grow into young adults and discover who they are on the inside and out. The text flows and grabs your attention making it hard to put the book down. The positive influence will speak to young readers who are facing similar choices and situations about their identities and gender.
Readers’ annotation: Paul has a dilemma. A new boy moved into town, his best friend is not speaking to him, his other friend is on house arrest, and his ex-boyfriend has had a change of heart.
Bibliotherapeutic usefulness: This is a great book that expresses the positive side of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers. It shows that some parents are loving and accepting of their children’s choices while other parents are in a bit of denial, but they are all working through their feelings in hopes of a positive outcome.  It shows that no matter what choices you make their will be some road blocks, but you will be able to overcome them. Teens can read this book and feel good about their sexual identities and genders.
Issues present: There are persons of every sexual orientation and gender in this book and some parent may not like their teen reading a book that makes these out to be a positive thing. However, every person has a choice to like and dislike whomever they choose. Sometimes a child feels like they are different from everybody else just because they might like somebody of the same-sex, or maybe people of both sexes, and that shouldn’t matter. Books like Boyfriends with girlfriends are great examples that will give that child confidence in their identities and gender even if they are not getting it from their friends and family. Perhaps the parent should even read the book so that they may understand where their child is coming from.
Booktalk ideas: The start of page 8 where it describes Paul finding out that he is gay at age 5.
On page 3 when Paul first meets Noah, “I look up. And there he is.”
Talk about the variety of Paul’s friends, one is gay, one is bi, one is a drag queen, one is a lesbian, one is a bookie, one is straight, etc.
Genre or subject: GLBTQ; coming of age or Bildungsromans
Readalikes: Boyfriends with Girlfriends or anything by Alex Sanchez; Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle; John Green books.
Awards and Lists: Lamba Literary Foundation Award (2003); ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2004); Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2008).
Links to reviews: Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-375-82400-5
Why I chose it: Based on the back of the cover it looked like it would be an entertaining book that had great growth as well as humorous. The writing style seems like it would be fun and intelligent at the same time. These are all things that tend to interest me in a book.

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