Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Reviews: Orca Publishing-- B Negative and The Drop

I’ve read a couple more of the Orca Publishing books for reluctant readers. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s my post about these books.

B Negative, by Vicki Grant

This is from the Orca Soundings collection. This collection is for older teens. Paddy lives with his mother and his step father, Anthony. He really doesn’t get along very well with Anthony, who he sees as lazy and thinks he just lives off the child support sent by Paddy’s real father. Paddy has a great relationship with his dad, but he really just wants to get away. Paddy threatens to enlist in the army, and then finds it difficult to back out of this decision. He takes a physical which changes his life completely, after he finds out his blood type.

Lots of teens will relate to this story. It is common for teens to have difficulty with their family situations, and also struggle with decisions about what to do with their lives. Along with challenging personal relationships, this book offers some dangerous and tense moments that keep the pages turning.

125 pages
Published April 1, 2011

The Drop, by Jeff Ross

The Drop is from the Orca Sports collection. This book would be appropriate for older teens. I think younger teens would be able to read this too, but there’s a little bit of alcohol consumption.  It’s not a big part of the story, though.

The sport in this story is snowboarding, so this would have wide appeal to many teens. Alex  and three other teens are training to be members of the back country ski patrol. If successful, they will be in a unique position, because instead of skis or snow mobiles, they will be on snow boards. 

When one of their group turns up missing, the teens decide that the only probable scenario is that he has been kidnapped. So, the training turns into a harrowing back country adventure complete with dangerous temperatures, guns, and avalanches.  Some of the descriptions of the snow formations and also some snowboarding terms were a bit confusing to me, but that just might be the attraction for teens who know more than I do.

This book is really a page turner, and teens who like to read about sports or love a good adventure will enjoy this one.

159 pages
Published May 1, 2011

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