Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Brooklyn NIne

The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings

Alan Gratz

It first must be understood that I don’t like baseball. Never have. Football, on the other hand I could watch 7 days a week. So when a baseball book made the North Carolina Battle of the Books list, I wasn’t thrilled, and I saved it until the next to last book to read. But then I heard Alan Gratz speak at the North Carolina School Library Media Association conference and was a little intrigued. So I started the book this morning with a somewhat open mind.

And what did I think? Well, I don’t think I’ll ever like baseball, but I really liked this book. As the title indicated it’s divided into nine parts, all following a family from 1845 until 2002. Each “inning” reflects its time period – the 1864 inning is set during the Civil War in Virginia, for example and some of the innings detail serious societal problems, such as racism, the Cold War, and the numbers racket. Most tell the story of a male in the family, but two innings are devoted to girls, proving that females can love the sport as much as their male counterparts. I do think some of the stories were stronger than others, but overall they make a fun read, and a good way for me to spend my day.

The copy of The Brooklyn Nine that I read for this book was obtained from my school library.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Cassini Code

The Cassini Code

Dom Testa

The Galahad has gotten through two crises. Filled with teenagers escaping a deadly virus on Earth, it now must get through perhaps the most serious problem yet. As long as they could work together, the crew could problem solve and survive the challenges. But what happens when they encounter two challenges – one outside the ship and one inside the ship?

The third book in the Galahad series, The Cassini Code begins as the ship encounters the Kuiper Belt, an area of space covered with asteroids. The odds of the ship getting through the asteroids without being pulverized are roughly 12 to 1 but this is the only route out of the solar system and to the planet where they think they’ll be able to start a new life. To make matters worse, some members of the crew want to turn around and go back to Earth, even if it means inevitable death.

This was my favorite book of the series. First, you have a danger of the asteroids. On top of this is the threat of mutiny. There is absolutely no possibility of 250 teenagers being on board a ship and there not being conflict, and Testa is spot-on in his portrayal of mature, intelligent teenagers who are having to figure out how to get along with each other. As crew members begin to doubt their mission, they start wearing yellow armbands, and their leader, Merit, is quite charismatic -- the comparisons to Hitler are unavoidable. The only problem with The Cassini Code is that I’ll have to wait until March for the next installment.

I purchased the copy of The Cassini Code that I reviewed.