April 29, 2016
April 25, 2016
Yes, summer is finally here! (at least in some parts of the world), and with it comes the Three Scoops of Summer blog tour hosted by Simon & Schuster Canada! In this tour, many canadian bloggers will be bringing you author written pieces, reviews, and fun posts for: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian, The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder!
Today, the tour will kick off with a written piece by Siobhan Vivian, the author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World here at Maji Bookshelf!
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication date: April 26, 2016
Genre(s): YA (Contemporary)
Here’s what I’d do if Pittsburgh were about to disappear under water, like the town of Aberdeen in my new book, THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD.
A DAY OF LAST MEALS
I’d have to hit up my favorite restaurants for the last time. First stop would be iced coffee and a doughnut from the best local coffee shop, Tazza D’oro. For lunch, I’d chow down on a veggie burger (with grilled pineapple, avocado and jalapenos) from Burgatory. For dinner, I’d get thai fried chicken from Noodlehead. And dessert would have to be homemade ice cream from Millie’s.
TAKE A MILLION PHOTOS
I’d probably max out my phone memory snapping pics. When it comes to documenting a place, I don’t think you should worry about getting the perfect staged picture. It’s quantity over quality. Like, I don’t want to just remember the house I live in. I want to remember all the houses on the block, plus the way the stop sign is a little bit dented from someone shooting a BB gun.
FIND YOUR OWN ARCHELOGICAL RELICS
Photos aside, I’d want some sort of tangible memorabilia to take with me. Something that, long after Pittsburgh was gone, would prove that it was once was a thriving city. Maybe a street sign? Or a beautiful map?
HAVE AN ADVENTURE
If Pittsburgh were flooded, I’m sure I’d want to do something super crazy. Maybe I’d explore an empty building or museum. Or take a canoe and paddle it somewhere surreal, like the middle of a football field.
There’s nothing worse than getting robbed of the chance to tell someone how you really feel about them before they’re gone. I have a few friends in Pittsburgh mean the world to me, and I’d want to make sure they knew it before they left. It’s the perfect setting for a heart-on-your-sleeve, no-holding-back, here’s-everything-I-never-told-you conversation.
The inverse of that, of course, is coming clean about someone you don’t like. I have a neighbor who is a horrible, horrible man. I have to play polite with him, since we live next door to each other. But! If Pittsburgh were suddenly being evacuated, I would definitely go knock on his door and tell him exactly what I think about him!
April 16, 2016
Author: Wesley King
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Genre(s): Mental health, Middle grade, Childrens, Contemporary
Add to Goodreads | Chapters | Amazon CA | B&N
From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.
Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.
Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.
With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.
This is a book about OCD.
I want to establish this, because although the plot of the book had many other things going on with it, that is what the focus of the book was for me, and what I learnt about this condition was my primary takeaway.
I think the beauty of the book lay in how Daniel’s condition was woven into his life along with the problems and experiences that come with the middle school life. Will his best friend remain his best friend in high school? Will the prettiest girl in his class fall for him? Will his father be proud of him for his effort in the football team? Will he be angry if he quits? I say “woven”, because I was able to point out how his experiences were significantly altered by his OCD. That’s what I loved about the book--his OCD was a very real, very significant aspect of his life that wasn’t portrayed as insulated from the rest of his experiences.
I have, of course, heard the stories and experiences of people with OCD. But this book made me feel on an entirely new level, the desperation and fright, the helplessness and and compulsiveness that is associated with this disorder. My heart broke for Daniel’s confusion at his behaviour and the way he struggled to make sense of it. He soon develops a strong camaraderie with the resident crazy of his school, Sara, who seems to be the only person that is comfortable with his OCD.
When he realizes that Sara is just as normal as him, he is understandably jarred. Here was someone what everyone proclaimed weird and crazy, but all he saw was her strength and understanding, and how normal she turned out to be. That was a huge step in his character growth, because it taught him that people with mental health conditions are no different than those without. They are people, and they deserve as much love, care, and attention as the next person. They are not broken. They are not crazy. This acceptance was what eventually led to him coming to terms with his own OCD.
A lot of this book involves Daniel silently suffering alone with this disorder, initially because he doesn’t understand it, eventually because he’s ashamed of it, and later, because he feels like no one will understand. Daniel’s inability to understand it was because his parents or teachers never made him aware that such disorders exist. The shame he felt because of his disorder was because he wasn’t aware that other people have had similar experiences, and that he wasn’t alone. His feeling that no one would understand was because mental health was never discussed mental health openly and freely in his social circles. OCDaniel made me realize me all that, and more.
Middle grade needs more books like this. I’d love for this to be required reading for middle school kids. Kids learn about conditions like this too late, if at all. I highly recommend this book for an enlightening, touching, and eye-opening read about a young boy’s confusion, shame, denial, and eventual acceptance about his mental health.
April 13, 2016
April 03, 2016
Another month, another book haul! this time sponsored by some amazing friends. I met up with a couple of friends the past two months and we did some book exchanging.. but I seem to have gotten a lot more books than I anticipated! Thank you to Lynn and Brittany!! <3 you guys are awesome. The only review books in this haul are Salt to the Sea and Shimmer so thank you Penguin Random House for sending them my way! I am a huge Ruta Sepetys fan ever since I read Out of the Easy <3
Lots of adult fiction titles here that I am super excited for, especiallyPaullina Simons' The Bronze Horseman
I have been meaning to read Erased by Jennifer Rush because I really enjoyed Altered and now I can finally do that! I have read Control as a review book years ago and fell in love so I am glad I have a copy now. The next books on my reading list are Panic by Lauren Oliver, Erased by Jennifer Rush, and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I am a big fan of Paula Weston's The Rephaim series so I jumped on it when I got Shimmer and read it. It was fantastic <3 I can't wait to pick up Salt to the Sea as well as The Program because I need to read a good dystopian
Several books I was interested in but wasn't sure if I would like. When I went to the Simon & Schuster preview, everyone was raving over The Scorpion Rules so now I am even more excited to read it. I am also very interested in reading No Love Allowed because it looks like a very cute contemporary