What Jaime is reading
"Not all those who wander are lost."
Jaime says: Disclafani’s debut reads like a cousin of Robert Goolrick’s works. This voyeuristic, dark, and lusty novel explores themes like the love and secrets of twins, unrequited desire, and the loss of innocence. In this hauntingly beautiful story, Thea, a victim of circumstance, seeks to gain freedom from an unsettled past. Using horses as a means of establishing self-confidence, she works to navigate the social requirements of an all girls’ school while dealing with her own emerging and uncomfortable feelings. Yonahlossee will leave readers wanting more.
Jaime says: This is perfect for fans of high fantasies. In a Game of Thrones-like world, unrest brews in the land of Mytica. It takes four citizens, rebels and royals, to start the tumultuous movement towards keeping the peace. With unexpected twists and turns, this story will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more.
Jaime says: I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. When Norway is invaded by Nazi Germany, its citizens feel lost and hopeless. Resistance groups form in the most surprising of places, including Espen’s soccer team. He starts out delivering illegal newspapers via his bike and skis, and works his way up over the years until he knows too much. Faced with learning his best friend has joined the Gestapo, Espen discovers there a few he can trust. As the years progress, he falls in love and encounters difficult situations. A small mistake leaves him and his loved ones in danger and he must make the toughest choice of all. This is a thrilling and poignant novel about an incredible young man--a must read.
Jaime says: I loved this book! From the first page, I was enchanted by the loveable Donovan Curtis—a charming boy with a penchant for getting into trouble. He is a character that will connect with readers everywhere. When a seemingly harmless prank earns Donovan a trip to the Superintendent’s office, Donovan knows life as he knows it is over. The Superintendent takes down his name and then sends Donovan home with the unspoken message; I will be in contact with your parents. However, the phone call never comes…instead Donovan’s family gets a letter admitting him to the local Gifted Academy. This is where all the hijinks really begin. Donovan knows he has a free pass…for the time being…and plans to make the most of it. Totally out of place in his class of gifted peers, Donovan does his best to fit in. Little does he know, many of them have been longing for some “normal” in their lives. His time at the academy changes the course of his life and that of his new classmates. Join the class as they develop Tin Man Metallica Squarepants (a robot for a competition), as they get hands on human growth and development lab time with Donovan’s very pregnant sister, and as they experience their first school dance ever. You will not regret picking up this book. Great for boys and girls everywhere!
Jaime Says: Winston Churchill once said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Growing up with horses, I can attest there’s truth to this adage. Hagy has shared her story about a horse and his boy. She artfully encapsulates the cowboy spirit with her writing in this novel and I couldn’t put it down. Meet Will Testerman, a Wyoming native, who buys a beautiful filly. With intentions to take his time training her, he gains her trust telling her his life story and the story of his family. They travel from his home, to a dude ranch, and ultimately to a fancy, Argentinean Polo farm in California where Will struggles to reconcile his simple expectations with the lies and deceitful ways of his fellow workers. Readers will get lost in the beautiful relationship that develops between Will and his filly. Hearts will break as the story unfolds.
Jaime says: Kate Klise is one of my all time favorite children’s novelists and when I saw she wrote a novel for adults, I HAD to pick it up! I loved it. It’s a fun, delightful tale full of miscommunication and international hijinks. Klise stays true to the zaniness of her children’s books, bringing an older audience flare. The adults in this story are successful business people who have a hard time taking time for themselves. Their children are both a bit shy and very tuned into the digital world. When a baggage mishap ensues, the lives of the four main characters will take a turn no one would have expected. In the Bag is an enjoyable read for someone looking to lose themselves in an entertaining story.
Jaime says: I fell in love with this beautiful, haunting story of Lithuania during WWII. I was drawn into the life of Lina as she is arrested in the middle of the night and hauled off to the wilds of Siberia. Lina captures the horrors of her experience through drawings that are smuggled out and expertly hidden. Expect to see shimmers of hope interspersed in moments of despair. A must read.
Jaime says: If you loved Hunger Games and Cinderella then this is a book for you! This dystopian novel introduces America Singer, a girl who wants nothing more than for her family to survive in turbulent times. She also wants to marry Aspen, a neighbor boy who belongs to a lower caste system than her family. Her future doesn’t look promising…that is until she enters her name in the nation-wide lottery intended for finding a match for Prince Maxon. When America’s name is drawn, she is whisked away to the palace where she faces a whole new battle—competing against 35 other girls for the honor of becoming Maxon’s wife. How can she last long enough to ensure her family’s future and yet remain true to her one true love, Aspen, even while developing feelings for the Prince? While this book follows a similar pattern to others in its genre—there are some refreshing moments that remind us how tricky feelings can be when we find ourselves out of our element.
Jaime says: This book tugged on my heartstrings from the very beginning. This touching novel, written in letters, chronicles the friendship of Meena and River—two very different kids who learn they have a lot in common. Meena is a recent immigrant from India living in New York City. Throughout the story she reveals her family’s struggles with rent controlled apartments and getting their green cards. River has lived his entire life in a mining town in the heart of Appalacia. He expresses distress when his mountain top starts to be removed and disasters falls upon his school as a result. I loved reading their letters and witnessing a life-long friendship unfold before my very eyes. This book is beautifully written and is a call to arms for social activism. A must read for all ages!
Jaime says: Meet Ismae, a young girl running away from an impossible home life. Ismae is taken in by the Sisters at the Convent of St. Mortain, the god of Death. It is here she learns the art of being an assassin. When Ismae is called to help find a treasonous member of court, her loyalties to the Sisters and St. Mortain are tested. Will she stand up for what she knows is right, or blindly follow those she has learned to trust?
Jaime says: While you can’t judge a book by its cover—this book’s cover is intriguing enough that I picked it up and checked it out. I am glad I did. Set here in Colorado, much of this tale takes place on a boy’s reformatory ranch. During their time at the ranch, the boys spend time working the ranch and breaking wild horses while the ranchers/guards spend time breaking the boys will. Often violent and emotionally volatile, this book chronicling a boy’s loss of innocence will grab you and won’t let you go.
Jaime says: When the little boy’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he does what any little boy would do, throws his favorite shoe up to unstuck the kite…what happens after that is silly and highly entertaining. This book’s fun approach to problem solving will leave you scratching your head in wonder and hoping that the boy will somehow get his kite back! Stuck offers enjoyment for both little kids and adults alike.
Jaime says: While I am not Rafael Nadal’s number one fan, I picked this up in hopes of learning more about this incredible tennis player. There is no doubt that he has earned all the praise that has been lauded upon him thus far in his career. This book is about his life in Majorca and his life on the long, sometimes never ending, road of professional tennis. You get a great sense of the rivalry between him and Roger Federer and the immense effort that go into the matches that they play. This book reveals how mentally strong Rafa has had to be to persevere through heartbreaking losses at Wimbledon, to seemingly career ending injuries, to his parents choosing to disrupt the tight family unit with a divorce. You meet the team that aids him in being one of the world’s top players and even I found myself cheering him on at times!
Jaime says: I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book and I am so glad that I did! What a fun and innocent tale about a senior spending her last year of high school in an American boarding school located in Paris, France. Having attended a boarding school myself, I doubly appreciated many of her experiences throughout the story. Anna’s struggles with French, with friends, and of course, with boys is not unlike what any typical high schooler experiences and you appreciate her highs and lows as the year progresses. I would recommend this story for anyone looking for a fun, enjoyable read.
Jaime says: I don’t know what else to say other than, I LOVED this book. Harkness weaves a tale so entrancing I couldn’t put it down. In a world where humans unknowingly co-exist with supernatural beings, historian Diana Bishop does her best to ignore the fact that she is descended from a long line of witches. This works pretty well for her until she unearths a long-lost magical manuscript with major implications for the mystical world. This unleashes a surge of energy that attracts every creature, including vampire Matthew Clairmont. Their two lives become inextricably intertwined and life as Diana knows it changes forever. Join them on their compelling journey that will leave you craving more.
Jaime says: I never thought I would recommend a book about shape-shifters, but here I go! I picked this up and couldn’t put it down. I was drawn to the main characters and the troubles they faced in learning that the lives they are living are not quite as noble as they seem here in Vail, CO. When faced with abandoning all those they love, or continuing on with life as they know it, what will Calla, Ren, and Shay choose? If you enjoy stories about supernatural beings, then this book is a must read!
Jaime says: This book is far more than a book about tennis. Hailed as one of the best sports biographies of all times, it lives up to its hype. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book and am so thankful that I did. Agassi chronicles his life growing up in Las Vegas with an overbearing father who wouldn’t accept less than perfection. While his siblings seemed to escape in their own ways, Andre became the answer to his father’s prayers in regards to tennis. Faced with pressures he was not prepared to handle, Agassi addressed his various acts of rebellion in an honest and emotional manner. He takes readers on an emotional journey that leaves you cheering him on as he figures out what he wants from his life, as he is a young star on the rise, to the moments he hits rock bottom, and to his phoenix-like rise from the ashes of his career. At times, it feels like you are sweating the same blood, sweat, and tears that Agassi does. You feel his pain and discover in the end that perhaps it was all worth it after all.
Jaime says: Kate di Camillo has struck another home run with this incredible story about hope. I am in awe of what she creates. I don’t even know where to begin. Life in this boy’s town is routine. He goes to the market; he returns to his guardian’s apartment and trains to be a soldier. He thinks his family is dead until a fortune teller tells him that an elephant will help him find his sister. That night, a mediocre magician does a show and instead of conjuring a bouquet of lilies, he brings an elephant out of thin air. This event, however accidental, brings about a ripple effect of change and this small town will never be the same again. This is a must read.
Jaime says: Rarely have I read a book that resonates as strongly as Last Child in the Woods. Being a teacher and having worked at a summer camp for many years, I LOVE what this book says and have witnessed how important it is for kids to have outside, unstructured play time. Louv examines the importance of nature in the lives of growing children—both physically and emotionally. In fact he attributes the rise in childhood obesity, depression, and attention deficit disorder to the fact that kids are not getting out into nature to play. I recommend this book to anyone who works with kids or who wants to help get children back into nature.
Jaime Says: This is the first book in one of my all time favorite children’s series!! The non-traditional format draws you into one of zaniest mysteries you will ever read. Full of quirky twists and turns this book keeps you on the toes. Kate Klise cleverly involves the use of puns and word play to further enhance the fun and Sarah Klise impresses with her imaginative illustrations. Will Mr. Sam N’s 5th graders get the fountain design of their dreams? Will Mr. Wally Russ and Sally Mander work out an agreement on how to fix the leaky fountain? Dry Creek will never be the same after this tale unfolds for all to read.
Jaime Says: All Peak wants to do is climb mountains like his father. Being stuck in New York City with his mother and stepfather, he settles for second best…skyscrapers. That is, until he gets caught. Enter dad who wisks Peak away to Everest for what Peak thinks will be the trip of his lifetime. While on Everest, Peak makes friends with the Sherpas and other local children in a way that most westerners would not. He learns about the political unrest in the area and sees how it affects his new friends. There is little Peak wouldn’t do to help them out. When faced with the choice of seeing ALL his dreams come true or helping out a friend in need, what will Peak do? Join him as he chronicles his story in his Moleskin journals as part of a school assignment. You won’t be sorry. This is for young adventurers everywhere!
Jaime says: A must read for fantasy lovers! This book is an unforgettable journey through mystical realms. Full of riveting characters, and an intriguing plot; you won’t regret picking this up.
Jaime Says: This book was recommended to me by one of my former students and I will always be grateful to him for doing so. Despite a slow beginning, this book delves into a storyline that lasts for nine more books—each better than the one before it. In this book you meet Will, the main protagonist, along with a whole host of colorful characters including his best friend, Horace, and his master, Halt. As with many great fantasies, the future of the Kingdom will rest in Will’s hands. Can he rise to the occasion? Read and find out—you won’t be disappointed!
Jaime says: Meet Alex Rider, teenage spy . Alex is drawn into the tangled web of the spy world. Torn between serving his country or being a typical boy, Alex will have some tough choices.