Loft Blog
The Accidental Genius of Weasel High / Rick Detorie PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:51

Larkin Pace is a self-described "accidental genius" -- a person with a unique aptitude for an ultimately useless skill.Cover image for The accidental genius of Weasel High

Larkin's genius is in the form of his acute memory of all things film, be it quotes or tropes, scenes or screens, theory or technique. Perhaps because of Larkin's interest in the visual art of film, the book, written and illustrated by Rick Detorie, is punctuated with comic illustrations of Larkin's world.

Larkin takes the reader through his everyday life through a series of short vignettes or explanations, rather than chapters like in a traditional narrative. Some of these vignettes have titles such as "How I Got Stuck With Larkin", "Why Weasel's Library Lady Hates Me", and "Ten Things About My Dad". The blocks of text are just a couple lines of text at a time; it feels conversational and light. 

Larkin is 14, so he can't really drive or get a job, but he longs to have the freedom and money to obtain his own video camera to make his own films. He hates being a student, both high school and the anticipation of college, and he fantasizes about the booming film career he could have if only he had the big budget to make his dreams a reality. The giant gap between fantasy and real life is a theme I think we can all relate to, as well as the feeling of being  *this close* to making all your wishes come true -- if only. 

Fans of  Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian or Liz Prince's Tomboy, will find this graphic novel/novel hybrid to be a Readalike.  Rick Detorie's The Accidental Genius of Weasel High is a fun, funny and swift read for readers of a wide range of abilities who enjoy realistic fiction.

 - Kayla / Loft Staff

Nichols Recommends PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 00:00

Here's what the teens at Nichol's Middle School recommend: 

altBeyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Sanderson

Fourteen-year-old Jason Walker is transported to a strange world called Lyrian, where he joins Rachel, who was also drawn there from our world, and a few rebels, to piece together the Word that can destroy the malicious wizard emperor, Surroth.



altAll The Answers by Kate Messner

Twelve-year-old Ava finds an old pencil in her family's junk drawer and discovers, during a math test, that it will answer factual questions, so she and her best friend Sophie have a great time--and Ava grows in self-confidence--until the pencil reveals a truth about her family that Ava would rather not know.



altReady Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people, and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday's fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world.
Ana Recommends: All the Bright Places / Jennifer Niven PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 November 2015 00:00

altAll The Bright Places is about a girl named Violet Markey and a boy named Theodore Finch. When they meet in the most ridiculous place, a bell tower, Violet had just lost her sister and Finch is looking for who he really is. They are up there for the same reason but when they meet they save each other from that very reason. As they get to know each other they slowly start realizing that they need each other.

    I really liked this book. It’s a great book at first it was going at a slow place, but by the time you get further into the book it starts to really bring you into the book. I think the end of the book is really sad, and I wished it ended in a different way. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars because it's a good book but it’s not my favorite.

 (Ana, Evanston Teen)

Superpowered Reads PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 15:27

If you're a fan of superheroes or you like action packed reads with lots  of twist, turns  and suspense then start with these:


altSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson

At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers, and now, ten years later, he joins the Reckoners--the only people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.



alt Miss. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A horrific family tragedy sends sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of an old orphanage that was home to children who were more than just peculiar, but possibly dangerous--and who may still be alive. Illustrated with vintage found photographs..



altThe Young Elites by Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru survived the blood fever, a deadly illness that killed many, but left others with strange markings and supernatural powers. Cast out by her family, Adelina joins the secret society of the Young Elites and discovers her own dangerous abilities


altPivot Point by Kasie West

A girl with the power to search alternate futures lives out six weeks of two different lives in alternating chapters. Both futures hold the potential for love and loss, and ultimately she is forced to choose which fate she is willing to live through



altZeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Don't call them heroes, but these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He's got a voice inside him that'll say whatever you want to hear, whether it's true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn't -- like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren't exactly best friends these days. Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group's "glorious leader." After Scam's SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. At the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases


altGone by Michael Grant

In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.



Kissing in American / Margo Rabb PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

altWith a title like Kissing in America, you might think Margo Rabb’s latest book is a typical romance, but it’s anything but typical.  Sure there’s talk about love and there’s Will, the seemingly unattainable guy Eva falls for, but how love and relationships are portrayed in this book are real.  Meaning, it’s not some fairy tale version and the love Eva starts to learn about isn’t just between a guy and girl, but between a mom and daughter, best friends and even between Eva and her deceased father.  Eva and her best friend Annie travel across the country  each with a clear goal in mind, but during their trip so much more becomes clear some of with heartwarming and some of it painfully raw.  An honest story that looks at the good the bad and the ugly of relationships and love through the eyes of a diverse cast. 


(Renee, the Loft)

City of Bones / Cassandra Clare PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015 00:00

altCity of Bones is one of the best books I've read for a while. The idea was intriguing and while retaining classic fantasy ideas, also brought up completely original concepts. Loved the plot twists, the suspense, the action, and the romance. The writing was beautiful, humorous, and never dry. From the first sentence to the last page, I was hooked; I couldn't put it down! (just ask my mom, she'll tell you about all the times she said 'no reading at the dinner table!') City of Bones is a captivating novel for any one interested in fantasy, romance, adventure, or just an enthralling break from everyday life. Five Stars!  


(Sarah, Evanston teen)

SuperMutant Magic Academy / Jillian Tamaki PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 October 2015 10:22

altThe SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep-school for misfits--a little bit Hogwarts and a little bit Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. It's where the mutants and the witches go but school takes a secondary role where there are bigger things at stake like dating, acne, first love and the like. Each strip follows a brief snippet of a one of the menagerie of characters we get to follow. The overall book seems to jump all over the place but the arc of each character's story does conclude as we continue to revisit them through strip after strip. 


There's the cat-eared Wendy, obsessed with boys who have nothing to do with her, and her roommate Marsha, a performance artist who takes every chance she can get to demonstrate her opinions of society through odd displays of art with her body. Marsha also has a secret crush and a brooding personality that pushes everyone around her away.


A lizard-headed girl named Trixie pines in the mirror over not being able to become a model, devastated at her lack of a pretty face. Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy is a graphic novel compilation of the most popular material from the web comic including new material. Her humor is both devastating and exact as she pinpoints the difficult and tricky terrain of adolescence, picking up on the drama of teenage life. It is a must read for anyone looking to find a new way to break out of the trope of high school stereotypes and find a new place to belong. 


(Ashley, the Loft)

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