I am delighted that our Open Pages book club doubled in size last night. Our members came together to discuss the book "Geography Club" by Brent Hartinger. They also voted on our next book to discuss which is "Luna" by Julie Anne Peters. This next meeting will take place on Tuesday July 21st at 7pm in the Youth Services room of the Paramus Library.
That night the library will also be offering a concert so parking will be limited. For members who are being dropped off please have your drivers leave you at the Century Rd. entrance. Anyone who is driving themselves be prepared to park in the High School lot that night.
For information on our summer concerts at the library please go to the Paramus Library at www.paramuslibrary.org. Here are summaries of the four other books that we book talked last night:
What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson (YA Wilson) 2008
Alex's world has changed so much since the night he tried to take his own life, he no longer has any friends, his older brother James barely even looks at him, let alone talks to him. This all changes though when he decides to starts running. After his first night of running Alex bumps into James good friend Nathan who is a star on the cross country team. Nathan see potential in Alex and pushes him to go out for the team. Now with a sense of purpose and a new friendship Alex feels he really has something in his life. This novel is uniquely told through both Alex and James (Alex’s older brother) point of view.
Issues: Suicide, Social Isolation, Bothers and Family, High School, Homosexuality.
Venomous by Christopher Krovatin (YA Krovatin) 2008
What happens when our anger is out of our control? When Locke Vinetti loses his cool its as if something else takes over- he becomes venomous. The worst part about Locke's alter ego, Venom, he doesn't have any control over it. Because of the Venom, Locke's relationships are very few. He has his mother, brother and best friend Randall. Randall finally convinces Locke to come out and meet new people- after this night Locke finds himself with new friends- new friends that the Venom can destroy. This realistic novel is interwoven with a small graphic novel. Readers will find very realistic and true moments within this novel about city teens. Though the landscape has changed and the stakes are higher the characters traits will resonate with many readers. Issues: Anger, Coming of Age, Single parent families, Emotional problems, Relationships.
Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers (YA Brothers) 2008
Johnny a self proclaimed Goth has felt lost for years, after his father died his mother went to pieces and Johnny was left to pick them all up. Finally Johnny’s mother has seen the light and she does not like who Johnny is anymore. She is finally convinced that her son is going down the wrong path after he is slipped drugs and ends up in the hospital. Johnny is ordered to go to alcohol rehabilitation where he discovers his love of Blondie’s Debbie Harry. After he gets out of rehab Johnny’s mother sends him to live with his uncle in North Carolina. Here Johnny befriends a girl who not only sees the difference in Johnny, but also celebrates it. Johnny’s story might seem a little different but deep down it is very relatable about how we all feel about finding out who we are and wanting to be accepted.
Issues: Identity, Sex Roles, Self-Confidence, Death, Family, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Transvestites, High School, Coming of Age.
Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters (YA PBC Peters) 2000
Antonia has a lot on her plate to do deal with. She is trying to take care of her brothers, keep her grades up and get into an accelerated program at school. She has also taken on the duty of being a peer counselor. But then Antonia meets Jasmine, the girl she is asked to counsel, she thinks this might not be a great idea. Jasmine, know as Jaz, is out spoken with crazy hair and make up- how could they relate to each other at all? This novel helps break down the ideas of normal and reminds us all not to judge a book by its cover. This novel has been on the summer reading list the last few years.
Issues: Family Problems, Mental issues, Peer Counseling, Friendship, Coming of Age.
If you would like to come to our next meeting please contact the library to register so we have enough food and drinks for everyone. You are welcome to send a message to this blog, call the library at 201-599-1309, send a message to the library facebook , or just stop in and talk to someone in the Youth Services Department.
So we just had our first meeting of the Open Pages book club and it went well. The group voted based on our book talk on the next book that we would be discussing and the title is (drum roll please) Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. If you missed the meeting and are interested in what we talked about here are the book talks we did:
The Fold by An Na (YA Na) 2008 We all have things we don't like about ourselves, for Joyce it was her acne. When Joyce finally gets the nerve to finally talk to guy at school, she is modified to be mistaken for the ugliest girl in class. Now Joyce's Aunt Gomo has won the lottery and she wants to spend her winnings on her loving family. She get growth pills for Joyce's younger brother, for Joyce's perfect sister Helen she signs her up for a dating service, and finally for Joyce a doctors appointment. "Yes!" Joyce thinks she can get her acne cleared up - but it’s not a dermatologist that Gomo wants Joyce to visit, it’s a plastic surgeon. Now Joyce is faced with the question about her own face should she or should she not get the fold to make her Asian eyes look wider. Many women have had it, but will this really make her look better and make her life better? Issues: High school, Family, Plastic surgery, Homosexuality, Body image, Acceptance
Boy Girl Boy by Ron Koertge (YA Koertge) 2005 Few weeks before graduation from high school and all Larry, Elliot, and Teresa can think about is getting out of their small Illinois town and heading to California. Each one has clung to the other throughout their school years for different reasons and now they wonder if running away will really be the answer. For Larry its moving to a place where he can be accepted, Teresa just needs to get away from the memory of her mother who ran away from her and her father years before, and Elliot the town all star who can do no wrong well he can imagine not always being with his two best friends. This novel is delivered in first person through each character’s eyes. This style helps the reader truly understand the state of mind of each person. Issues: Abandonment, Religion, High school and the after, Homosexuality, Sexuality, Eating Disorders
Luna by Julie Anne Peters (YA Peters) 2004 Regan has a huge secret and it’s not about her, it’s about her sister Luna. Luna wakes Regan up every night to talk about her hopes and dreams and desire to be accepted in the daytime in her true form. Luna is not really a girl she is Liam, Regan's brother. During the day Liam is trapped in his boy body denying who he really is inside- Luna. Regan world gets turned upside down when Luna decided that she wants out for good. How can Regan protect her brother/sister from the dangers of the outside world? This novel told in present tense and through memory delivers an authentic tale of what its like to live with this issue. Issues: Coming of age, Transsexuals, Family Issues, Acceptance
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger (YA PBC Hartinger) 2003 Russel Middlebrook is a sophomore at Goodkind High School. He has a secret crush on a baseball jock, Kevin Land, and soon discovers that Kevin is also gay. The boys become friendly outside of school and set up the "Geography Club" with three other gay students, one of whom is Russel's closest friend, Min. The club members relish the opportunity to discuss their lives and to relate to one another openly and honestly. Eventually, however, intense peer pressure and insecurity take their toll. Someone has spread a rumor that there is a group of gay students meeting- are the members ready to come out and let the world know who they are, will the Geography Club go unnoticed, or will the members try to form a new club? Issues: High school, Peer pressure, Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Acceptance
If you would like to join the Open Pages Book Club call the library at 201- 599-1309. The books for the book club are available at the circulation desk at the Paramus Library on Century Road.
Absolute Brightness by James Lecesne (YA Lecesne) Phoebe's life in Neptune, NJ was never very normal but things really get crazy when her cousin Leonard moves into her house. Leonard is the extreme in every sense of the word. He prides himself in helping find the beauty in every moment; he is also a target because of his flamboyant way of dressing and expression. Phoebe can not stand Leonard and doesn’t understand why he has to be so crazy. Only when Leonard disappears mysteriously does Phoebe start to understand and appreciate who he is and what he has done for the people around him. The lost of Leonard helps Phoebe discover herself.
On April 21st at 7pm the Paramus Library group known as OPEN PAGES will discuss this book over pizza and soda. This group is for teens in grades 9- 12. If you would like to join us there are copies of this book located at the circulation desk. Please call and register by April 6th so we know how much pizza to get. If you have any question about this book club please feel free to call the Paramus Library at 201-599-1309 and ask for Becky.