Staff Picks

Staff Review May 1, 2009

In the vein of documentary films Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom, Resolved follows high school debate teams over a period of two years all the way to the tournament of champions. With the exception of one team, all were from private high schools. The public high school team consisted of two boys from an inner city high school, who had not been trained to speak in short-hand and didn’t base their arguments solely on research. Instead, they argued that, based on their personal experience and how they felt, the topic of the debate was inherently racist.

Staff Review

Beautiful Boy

By David Sheff
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 14, 2009

David Sheff shares the heart-breaking story of his son Nic’s tenuous life on drugs. Interwoven in the story are the results of research and studies about kids from shared custody homes, the affects of drugs (especially Methamphetamine) on the human body and psyche, and advice from a variety of sources for friends and families of addicts. Beautiful Boy especially resonates with me, as Sheff searches for answers as to how this could have happened to his son and in what ways he might be responsible.

Staff Review Apr 14, 2009

On a whim, after passing through Wyoming on her way home to New York, Shreve Stockton decides to pack it all in and move to this absolutely foreign place. There, she discovers a life far different from what she had previously known. She finds herself in the role of caregiver of a coyote pup, whom she names Charlie, and begins sending out daily pictures to friends and family. Those e-mails grew into and later into this book, The Daily Coyote.

Staff Review Apr 13, 2009

Staff Review


Rated by Josh N.
Apr 8, 2009


Teen Staff Review
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road

By Melina Marchetta
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 27, 2009

Taylor was abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was 11 years old. She was taken in my Hannah, a caretaker at the Jellicoe School, a place for wards of the state to go to school until they are 18. Behind the seeming quiet of Jelliceo School is a feud that goes back before Taylors time there, a secret war going on between the students of Jellicoe School, the townies and the cadets. Taylor has just been named the leader of the students and it is hear job to regain precious territory from the cadets and townies.

Staff Review Mar 26, 2009

As a researcher at Cal Tech in 1985, Stacey O’Brien made an easy target when a four day old barn owl with an injured wing needed a permanent home. After Wesley had consumed Stacey’s life I have to wonder if, had she known, she would have taken on the responsibility.

Staff Review Mar 24, 2009

When Casey Fielder, manager of the local O’Ruddy’s restaurant, allows a fight between the privileged St. Brendan’s kids and those from the public high school to escalate, his inaction puts him at risk of being charged with negligence. As a result of the fight, Colin Chase has suffered brain damage. Shawver alternates between Casey and Colin’s mother Lea as they both investigate the circumstances behind the fight. Casey has been fired and in exploring the reasons for the fight hopes to find absolution for his inaction.

Staff Review Mar 9, 2009

This memoir would be overwhelmingly sad for me, had I not already read Old School by the same author and know that he becomes a successful author and teacher of literature at Stanford. But if you didn’t know that this child redeems himself in the end, this would be sad, a sad tale indeed.


Staff Review


Rated by Josh N.
Mar 6, 2009

The movie Watchmen is out now, and I'm really excited to see it. The comic originally came out as a twelve-issue limited series when I was in high school, and I read every issue many, many times. I even studied it for a class in college. I highly, highly recommend Watchmen.