Monday, February 27, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (2/27)

Snow Day + Presidents' Day Holiday = 2 week hiatus

Glad to be back on this BEAUTIFUL Monday!

One of the great things about the class I'm taking in graduate school right now is that I'm being exposed to a lot of books that I wouldn't have read on my own.  This week's book is a prime example of that.  I'm not a big lover of historical fiction or books about revolution, but I could not put this book down once I picked it up.  (Actually, I read this on ebook, so I had to put it down on occasion because my phone died.)

This story is set in the 1960s in the Dominican Republic where they are ruled over by a dictator that has been in power for 30 years.  Anita is twelve and, as such, wrapped up in things that twelve year olds are wrapped up in.  She wants to be friends with her older sister, who is annoyed with her very existence.  She wants the boy next door to fall in love with her.  She wants to be older and more sophisticated.

Anita's father, however, is in the top ranks among the country's revolutionaries who aim to take down their dictator.  The rest of her family, from her grandparents to her cousins, have already fled to New York.  Once Anita learns of her father's involvement, she gets anxious.  Her sister even ends up having to flee the country because the dictator happened to notice her at a party and takes a special liking to her.

Eventually, the plan that the revolutionaries have been working on is played out, but something goes wrong and Anita and her mother end up having to go into hiding.

It is a small book, not even 200 pages long, but the content is big.  I found it hard to resist!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (2/6)

Happy February!  I hope everyone had a great time watching the Super Bowl last night (or watching the commercials, perhaps).  Our Super Bowl party here at the library was super fun.

Every month generally has some sort of theme or celebration tied to it.  This month, we have our display shelving set up to celebrate Black History Month and our glass display case set up to acknowledge Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month.

This book is heart breaking and gut wrenching.  It is the story of Melinda, who was among the most popular girls in her junior high.  She's 15 now and getting ready to go to high school.  The summer before school begins, she and her friends are invited to their first high school party.  They are all super excited to be hanging out with the upperclassmen.  Melinda is pulled aside by one of the most popular senior boys and they go somewhere private and start to make-out.  Only he wants to take it too far and when Melinda says "no," he doesn't listen.

Melinda panics and calls the cops.  And of course because that is what you're supposed to do in the event of a rape.  There is a lot of alcohol at this party, however, so a lot of people get in trouble and, when the cops showed up Melinda was too freaked out to tell them what happened.  Now everyone thinks Melinda is a tattle tale and they make it their mission to see her suffer.

Melinda doesn't tell anyone what happens and spends most of the book not speaking at all.  Her grades drop, she loses weight, she stops washing her hair; basically she does everything she can to become invisible.

When Melinda's former best friend starts dating the rapist, she know something has to give.  Namely, she's going to have to speak.

This book isn't a big thick one, but it packs a huge punch.