Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Finds- December 25, 2009

Here are my finds for the week:

Hex Hall- Rachel Hawkins
When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect. Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.  (From

Not My Daughter- Barbara Delinsky
When Susan Tate's 17-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy both for Lily and herself.

Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school seniors who happen to be Lily's best friends - and the town turns to talk of a pact. But criticism of the girls quickly becomes criticism of their mothers, especially of Susan, who holds a visible position in town. As principal of the high school, she is considered a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. Susan is still struggling with the personal implications of her daughter's pregnancy, when she hears calls for her resignation.

But what of her close friendship with the two other moms? Are they any less at fault than she is? The friendships suffer - but shouldn't loyalty trump community pressure? And what of a fourth friend, who has power enough to minimize the fallout but whose own daughter has a murky tie to the pact?

Set in a small Maine town that cherishes responsibility, Not My Daughter raises many issues, not the least of which is the age-old question: What does it take to be a good mother? (From Barbara Delinsky's website)

House Rules- Jodi Picoult
HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t. (From Jodi Picoult's website)

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