Thursday, April 6, 2017

Grendel's Guide to Love and WarGrendel's Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tom Grendel is the only teenager in the neighborhood-- until his neighbor moves to Florida and her niece's family moves in. With teenagers who like to party. Party loudly. Tom's father suffers from PTSD and can't stand loud noises. The other neighbors, Tom's lawn mowing customers, are all elderly and not thrilled with the noise and commotion either. Along with Tom's best friend Ed, they band all together to try to calm things back down, with some hilarious (to read, but wouldn't want to live through) results. And, of course, there's a girl...Willow, whose brother holds all the parties.

Tom learns a lot about himself and his family during the experience. He, his father, and sister are all still trying to come to grips with the death of his mother. Tom interviews his elderly neighbors to try to preserve parts of their lives since he didn't know his mother as well as he would have liked. And searches to learn more about his mom.

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Review: Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame. (2016) Candlewick Press: Sommerville, MA.


Dan's mother has been dating ever since his dad walked out, but the guys she dates all seem to take advantage of her in some way. Now, she's engaged to a dentist but Dan does NOT want her to marry him. Mistakenly believing the dentist likes to hunt, Dan's mom arranges a week of survival camping for them. Dan and his best friend, Charlie, make plans to run Hank (the dentist) off by creating disasters during the trip. But, they didn't need any additional disasters, there were enough waiting for them in the woods. This book is laugh out loud funny and a must-have for teen boys.