This Girl Is Different by J J Johnson

different

This Girl Is Different by J J Johnson

Evie (born Evensong Sparkling Morningdew) lives with her”hippie” mom in a geodesic dome in the woods near their small town.  After being homeschooled since forever, she’s finally convinced her mom to let her finish high school at the local public school, claiming she would be like a gonzo journalist studying the ethnography of the public school system.  The question isn’t the obvious one of Evie being ready for public school after so many years with just her mom, but is the school ready for Evie.  She is strong-minded, confident,not afraid to share her opinion on anything and everything, and a budding activist.  Whenever Evie is about to do something unexpected, she tells herself, “This girl is different,” and she certainly is.  When she is faced with the inherent lack of student rights at her new school, she feels compelled to take on the system, getting herself into all kinds of trouble.

I found this book to be absolutely delightful.  It’s awesome to see a teenager so empowered  such that she follows her own conscious, even when she knows it will lead to trouble.  The book has some interesting minor characters: Evie’s mom Martha, a love interest named Raj, and a smarter than average administrator named Dr. Folger.  I would recommend this title to students looking for humorous books, titles about challenging authority, and  “green” lifestyles.

 

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Zak & Mia

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.”

So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

 

I’ll Give You the Sun

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Click HERE for our review.

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Words in the Dust

Zulaikha hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate repaired.

 

The Boy Born Dead

In 1953, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, a baby boy was born—dead. Now, more than sixty years later, that boy leads an internationally known ministry that encourages hundreds of thousands every year.

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SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens. SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a weekSign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at www.audiobooksync.com.

sync-2016-flyer-may-19100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith | Read by Kirby Heyborne

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved. Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.


This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff | Read by Oliver Wyman

First published in 1989, this memoir has become a classic in the genre. With this book, Wolff essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. It was made into a movie in 1993.

Fiction writer Tobias Wolff electrified critics with his scarifying 1989 memoir, which many deemed as notable for its artful structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The story is pretty grim: Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed. Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up—not bad training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that listeners come away exhilarated.

 

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Tsync-2016-flyer-may-12HE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER, by outstanding fantasy author Melinda Salisbury and performed by Amy Shiels, introduces us to a powerful heroine. At 17, Twylla lives in a castle and has the power to kill by simply touching the victim. However, her power is one she’s inherited and her service in the castle as the executioner of prisoners isn’t the life she chose, nor does she want it. In Amy Shiels’s performance, the tensions between Twylla and the royal family, and between Twylla’s desire for love and respect for duty, keeps us glued to a winding tale of intrigue, danger, and the tantalizing promise of hope.

Hope, too, is at a premium in Jim Gash’s DIVINE COLLISION, the account of his involvement in performing legal rescue work on behalf of imprisoned children in Uganda. Brandon Batchelar performs Gash’s narrative about his work in Uganda, his faith in Divine Providence, and restoring a future to those neglected and forgotten by most of the world. Jason White also reads here, giving voice to the story of Henry, the young Ugandan man serving a sentence for a murder he did not commit and for whom Gash was instrumental in obtaining freedom.   You can find out more about Gash’s work and Henry’s imprisonment by watching BBC Outlook: Teen Wrongly Accused of Two Murders

 

FREE Audio Books by Sync

SyncAudioWeekSYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens.

Starting May 5th 2016, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week – pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at www.audiobooksync.com.

Available for a Limited Time
Remember — grab these titles before they are replaced by a new pairing on 5/12/2016! While the title availability is time-limited, your listening time is not. Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, the audiobook is yours to listen to at your leisure.

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Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

sloppy firsts Sloppy firsts by Megan McCafferty

Almost 16 year old Jessica Darling has started an occasional diary in January of a new year to chronicle her life after best friend Hope has moved with her family from their New Jersey shore town to Tennessee. Each month starts with Jessica’s monthly snail mail letter to Hope, giving her a summary of the most important events and her thoughts each month. Without her best friend, Jessica eats lunch with three girls she calls the Clueless Crew, since as a sophomore she can’t sit with upperclassmen. She doesn’t fit into other social groups and has no interest in joining them. Smart and diligent, Jessica ranks near the top of her class and is also a champion runner on the school track team. An insomniac, Jessica is faking being sick to nap in the nurse’s office when she is awakened by Marcus Flutie, a notorious Dreg, to supply urine for an unscheduled surprise drug test for his parole officer. Jessica surprises Marcus and herself by agreeing to do it on his promise he won’t narc on her. The surprises continue as she and Marcus start a tentative friendship.

The first in a series, this diary reflects a true to life teen girl’s voice, full of drama about family, friends, school and life in general. I am eagerly anticipating reading more about Jessica’s adventures as her life continues.

Reviewed by Ellie Goldstein-Erickson