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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Incantation and A Sunday's List

"I have crossed over to a place where I never thought I'd be.
I am someone I would have never imagined. A secret. A dream.
I am this, body and soul. Burn me. Drown me. Tell me lies. I
will still be who I am." Estrella deMadrigal, Spain

Incantation by Alice Hoffman is told by 16 year old Estrella deMadrigal. Estrella's Jewish family pretends to be Catholic to escape persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. Alice Hoffman's lyrical prose tells a powerful story about religious persecution, jealous betrayal, and courageous hope. It will gnaw at your conscience and haunt you with its beauty. I would definitely recommend this book.

1. Estrella deMadrigal, her mother Abra, and grandmother from Incantation by Alice Hoffman, ages 15 and up: Estrella, her mother and grandmother are strong in their convictions and beliefs. They are intelligent, intuitive, will not back down and protect one another. Read this beautiful story.

2. Essie and her mother from Hold Me Tight by Lorie Ann Grover, ages 9 - 12: Inspired by a true story, Hold Me Tight is an emotional story written in prose. I wanted to protect 12 year old Essie and her family from everything that was happening to them. First, Essie's dad leaves his pregnant wife and two children. Second, Essie's classmate Chris is kidnapped. Third, Mr. Paul, Essie's mom's friend, tries to touch Essie in an inappropriate manner. You cheer for Essie's mom, who believes her daughter rather than Mr. Paul. She throws his sorry butt out the door and gets the authorities involved. How's that for a strong mama? You cheer for Essie, who is a sweet girl who watches out for her brother and mother, worries about classmate Chris, speaks up for herself, finds ways to punish her dad, and has the strength to hold on to what she has.

3. Tru from Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian, ages 9 and up: Twelve year old Trudy Walker and brother Eddie are twins. Every once in awhile, Trudy, aka Tru, feels guilty because she worries she may have caused Eddie to become developmentally delayed when they were in utero. Tru wants to find a way to find a cure for Eddie and to have her own television show. Tru is a determined girl who loves and appreciates her brother.

4. Bella, Alice from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, ages 15 and up: First of all, I have to tell you that vampire stories is just not my thing. But...there is always an exception, and this riveting book definitely makes that exception. 17 year old Bella Swan is moving to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. On her first day of school, she meets a few friends and discovers Edward Cullen. Edward saves Bella from danger and their fondness for each other grows. Bella is fiesty, observant, curious, open minded, creative and protective of her family. Alice is Edward's sister and is welcoming to Bella. She watches over Bella and tries to protect her from harm.

5. Bella, Alice from New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, ages 15 and up: This sequel to Twilight will make you hungry to keep reading, just to find out what happens next. Bella and Alice team up in a new adventure and you must read this just to find out what happens.

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