“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Three Very Different, Very Strong, Girls...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor

This fantasy novel was one of my favorite reads last year.  It was an absolutely beautiful book.  It is an “angel” fantasy, but I found it incredibly creative and refreshing.  The main character, Karou, is an art student and has special powers.  She lives in Prague and was raised by Brimstone the Wishmonger and an assortment of half-beasts.  She has bright blue hair and speaks many languages and can run errands for Brimstone; but who is she really?  That’s what the book is about – and a wonderful tale it is.  A sequel is due out in November of this year and I can’t wait to read it!

The Declaration

By Gemma Malley

What if everyone started taking meds that prolonged their lives?  What if the meds ensured no diseases – no cancer, no sickness, plastic surgery if you wanted it… and life could last indefinitely?  After a while population control would become a problem.  Society would need to limit births to one child.  But if people didn’t die, even one birth would be too much.  Births would have to be curtailed.  That’s the premise of The Declaration.  Sign the Declaration and you get longevity drugs.  Opt out and you don’t get the drugs.  But in reality it doesn’t seem to be quite that simple… Even those who opt out and have children seem to be hunted.  The Declaration is the story of Surplus Annie, one of the children born into this society.  It’s an excellent dystopian read that will get you thinking about what such a future could mean.

The Running Dream 

By Wendelin Van Draanen 

I am a runner. 
That's what I do. 
That's who I am. 
Running is all I know, or want, or care about...
Running aired out my soul. 
It made me feel alive
And now? 
I'm stuck in this bed, knowing I'll never run again. (pg 6)

This book is nothing short of inspirational.  Whether you are an athlete or a mathlete, you can’t help but fall in love with this story about sixteen-year-old Jessica, a high school track star with amazing potential who wakes up on the first page of the book to find she has lost her leg in a terrible accident.  Jessica struggles through a whole realm of emotions but continually dreams of running.  She discovers that running on prosthesis is a possibility, but an expensive one.  Her entire team rallies behind her to try and get her running again.  At the same time, Jessica meets Rosa who has CP and is in a wheelchair.  Rosa tutors her in math and she discovers something about disabilities – it’s easy to become invisible. 

I found this to be a personally rewarding read as I’ve had this same experience with a very close friend.  My dear friend Lisa has CP, is in a wheelchair, and can sometimes be hard to understand until you get used to her speech.  I loved the way Jessica referred to Rosa’s impediment as being like a dialect.  That is how I feel with Lisa.  Lisa is very bright, just like Rosa, but people will treat her like she is stupid.  I have been in the ER with her and doctors will talk to me and not her.  I’ll have to remind them to talk to her.   

This is definitely a book that will appeal to almost everyone.  It’s not a difficult read and it’s uplifting.  The message is wonderful and it will stay with you for a long, long time!

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