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Teen Book Reviews.

We have a couple of reviews for you today:

Alexis S. from our Machacek branch reviewed Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw.  Alexis won’t be getting a present from Jenna Burtenshaw this holiday, not after this review.  The book started out good, but quickly went downhill from there.  With a lacklustre story, and un-interesting characters, Alexis was simply unable to finish the book.  She did mention it was a good cure for amnesia though!  If this book was a person, she’d like it on facebook, but definitely wouldn’t reccommend it to a friend.  If there ever was a movie of this book, Alexis suggested Kristan Stewart for the lead role.  I didn’t get a chance to ask Alexis if she had chosen Kristen because of her ability to represent a wide-range of emotions, demonstrated in the chart below.

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy – reviewed by Margaret S.

I first saw this book when I was shelving and I knew I had to read it; a year later I got it for the Summer Reading Club prize, and I made the best choice in the world.

Words in the Dust is about a young Afghani girl with a cleft, a split in her upper lip, which causes her to be ostracized by her community, her extended family, her step-mother, even her younger step-brothers. As her older sister will soon be married and her step-mother is pregnant, Zulaikha makes frequent trips to the market and soon meets an older woman who knew Zulaikha’s deceased mother. Zulaikha’s mother loved reading and believed all Afghani women should be educated and know how to read.

American soldiers arrive in Zulaikha’s small town and provide Zulaikha the ability to have her cleft surgically repaired and Zulaikha’s sister, Zeynab, has her dream come true when she marries a revered, wealthy—albeit, much older—man.

The twist at the end brought tears to my eyes, something a book hasn’t been able to do in a long time. The message Words in the Dust sends is something we can all understand without speaking the same language as Zulaikha—I would highly recommend this book to anyone, teen or adult.

Here’s to good reads and good times this Thanksgiving!

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