Sadly, I'm not legally allowed to give away actual guys (although I have some annoying ones if anyone is interested), but I have three awesome books provided by Big Honcho Media! All three are part of the This is Teen initiative, and I am excited that they are all pitched at BOYS!
If you would like to enter to win, comment by Wednesday, November 23 and make sure that you provide an e mail address if your comment doesn't link to a way to contact you. Winner will be decided by my first period library helpers. (That's about as random as it gets!)
Brooks, Kevin. iBoy.
Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH5iHzTEkNE&feature=youtu.be
Tom is eking out an existence in a drug addled London housing project when an iPhone is thrown from a 30th floor of his building, hitting him on the head and embedding fragments in his brain. The same people who threw the phone are also responsible for the gang rape of his friend, Lucy. His whole being is now hooked up to the internet, and he is able to shock people just by touching them. Feeling that his powers may not last long, he attempts to find out who attacked Lucy and bring them to justice, a quest that takes him all the way to the very dangerous drug overlord of the area who has a horrifying connection to Tom's family.
Strengths: Brooks is a phenomenal writer who can make the gritty realities of life more vivid than anyone I know. The combination of inner city gang wars and technology were riveting. Gave this one to Surly Teen Boy to read.
Weaknesses: F-bombs all over the place, so not for middle school, especially with the rape of the friend. I was somewhat surprised; one of the things I liked best about Candy was that the language and situations were circumspectly covered.
Hirsch, Jeff. Eleventh Plague.
Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__f4S0hv1EI&feature=youtu.be
Stephen and his father are barely surviving as salvagers years after a plague has killed off enough people to pitch the entire US into survival mode, and when they are almost captured by slavers, the two lose their meager possessions and the father is gravely injured. Luckily, Stephen meets up with people from Settler's Landing, a small community that has banded together against marauders and are trying to live a structured life. While his father is being cared for, Stephen gets a chance to go to school, have a crush on a girl, and not live in constant fear that he won't have enough to eat. This doesn't last long; the town leaders run afoul of trouble makers, and Stephen's quiet life proves to be as precarious as he felt it was!
Strengths: A more realistic dystopian novel than many, and rather reminiscent of my middle school favorite, O'Brien's Z for Zachariah. Great cover; we sold a lot of these at the book fair, and I'm hearing positive things from the students.
Weaknesses: While I can understand Stephen's reluctance to trust in a calm environment, I had trouble believing that he didn't like it. I think this just shows an age bias; my students won't pick up on this.
Zusak, Markus. Underdogs
I didn't read this whole book, since skimming the beginning led me to think it was more suited to high school. Still, there is so little realistic fiction for high school boys that this is a welcome addition for them.
From the publisher: Before The Book Thief, Markus Zusak wrote a trilogy of novels about the Wolfe brothers: The Underdogs, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are champions at getting into fights, coming up with half-baked schemes, and generally disappointing girls, their parents, and their much more motivated older siblings. They’re intensely loyal to each other, brothers at their best and at their very worst. But when Cameron falls head over heels for Ruben’s girlfriend, the strength of their bond is tested to its breaking point.
Comment, and you may be a winner of all three books sent to you directly from Big Honcho Media!