Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork.

Marcelo has always heard internal music that is hard for him to pull away from.  Because of this autism-like disorder, Marcelo has attended a special school, Paterson, where he is now going to help with care and training of the ponies.  Marcelo’s father has never approved of him going to a special school and challenges his son to enter the real world by working in the mail room at his law firm.  If Marcelo refuses or fails, he will be placed in public high school instead of Paterson for his senior year.  Marcelo excels in the real world until sudden knowledge about his father’s job forces him to make an impossible decision.

This book is written from Marcelo’s point of view, allowing the prose itself to become as poetic, strange and amazing as Marcelo’s inner dialogue.  It is a book where you feel the world around you shift as you see it through Marcelo’s eyes. 

There is an enticing thread of religion and music that weaves throughout not only the book but through Marcelo himself.  It is a point of entry for the reader into understanding him.  Lovely, poignant and vivid, this book will capture you, change you, and then release you with tears streaming down your face at the beauty you have found.

Highly recommended for teen readers who are looking for a novel with depth that surprises and delights.  Appropriate for ages 16-18.

2009 Rainbow List

From ALA’s Rainbow Project comes the 2009 Rainbow List that features books with "authentic and significant gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/questioning (GLBTQ) content for youth from birth through age 18."

There are 34 titles on the list all published in the last 18 months.  They include a couple of picture books, two middle-grade novels, two graphic novels, and four adult books amongst the teen titles. 

Four titles were selected as being especially noteworthy:

Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert

Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon

Skim by Mariko Tamaki

Cybils Winners

The winners of the Cybils have been announced.  And what a great list it is!  Of course, I am completely unbiased as the organizer of the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.  😉

It is a thrill to see such great books honored, but what I really love about the Cybils is that so many people are able to be involved.  The process may not work seamlessly, the nominations can be muddy and confusing, but in the end the awards go to books that we are all proud to stand behind.  And that is because so many people participate in the nominations, read so many books in a short period of time, and are willing to discuss books at length. 

A huge thank you to everyone who helped on the SF/F category.  It was an honor to work with you.

Nominating Panel:

Laini Taylor Growing Wings
Charlotte Taylor Charlotte’s Library
Alyssa Feller The Shady Glade
Em Em’s Bookshelf
Lynette The Puck in the Midden
Tizrah Price The Compulsive Reader
Amanda Blau Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Judges:

Anne Boles Levy The Cybils
Eisha Prather Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Tanita Davis Finding Wonderland, Readers’ Rants