Great Reads for Teens and Tweens!

Helping you make an informed decision about that book

Scene It? – Disney and Harry Potter Versions

Name: Scene It?Disney and Harry Potter Versions

Created by: Screenlife

Age: 6 and up (Disney) / 13 and up (Harry Potter)

Players: 2 or more

Description:

Scene It? is a DVD trivia game in which players have to answer questions either from trivia cards or viewed on the TV from the included DVD. More than just a trivia game, Scene It? also challenges you to use observation, memory, wordplay, and problem solving to decode the puzzles that you see on-screen. Designed for two or more players, this family-oriented trivia game will appeal to kids and adult fans alike.

Disney Version features clips, images, and characters from everyone’s favorite Disney and Pixar movies! While most of the questions are incredibly easy, players will find the game immensely satisfying.

Harry Potter version – includes questions, images, and challenges from all 8 of the movies! This game is the ultimate Harry Potter test for the HP fan and even includes some obscure questions that you would only get if you had read the book.

My Take:

Do you have teens who think they are know it alls? Well, I think it is time for them to prove it with the game Scene It?! Scene It? comes in a variety of versions but my two favorite ones are the Harry Potter and Disney Versions. Although you can play with two or more players, I prefer to play the game in teams with players of various ages. I found that some of the younger kids can help me out with the movies I have yet to see while I can help with the older stuff (well not too old).

The first couple of times you play the game it can be a bit completed trying to figure out the rules and what each category and roll of the dice means. I highly suggest keeping the rules handy. Also, this game can get pretty loud as people get excited and shout out answers so don’t expect to play this in a quiet area or to calm anyone down. The reason I like specific versions of Scene It? as opposed to the original is because it forces the game to focus on one topic, otherwise you’d have to be a know it all in everything (like my mom). The Disney and Harry Potter versions are definitely perfect for teens and the entire family.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars … the games have some technological glitches sometimes and I’ve found a couple wrong answers in the Harry Potter game

Similar Game: Pass the Popcorn by Wiggles 3D

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The Shadowland by Meg Cabot (Mediator Series Book 1)

Title: Shadowland The Mediator Series Bk.1

Author: Meg Cabot

Publisher: HarperTeen           Year: 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0060725112

Genre: Fiction

Age: 13 and up

Awards: ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

Themes / Subjects: Ghosts, Fantasy, Romance, Relationships, high school, mediator

Plot Summary:

Suze is a high school sophomore, who, in her own words has “this unfortunate ability to communicate with the dead.” She’s a mediator which means she is responsible for helping ghosts solve unresolved issues so they can move on to the next world. As important as Suze’s role is, it is one that she has always resented. At sixteen, she just wants to be a normal teenage girl, worried about clothes and boys, not dead people To make matters worse, her mom has remarried and is moving them from New York City and clear across the country to northern California. With a new stepdad who’s pretty cool, and three stepbrothers who turn out to be a pain, Suze hopes this move to California will be a positive change. At least she thought that until she meets Heather, the angry ghost of a girl who committed suicide over Christmas break and wants revenge on her ex-boyfriend.

My Take:

Meg Cabot is one of my all-time favorite authors so I was really surprised I hadn’t heard about this book until a student suggested I read it. This has now become one of my favorite YA series! Every day I would look forward to seeing this particular student and would greedily beg for the next book in the series.

This is a fast paced novel, chock full of sarcasm and ghost busting action! The book immediately begins with action and just continues to get better. Things really pick up when Suze realizes she is stuck sharing a room with the ghost of a young boy named Jesse. Swoon! He sounds really dreamy (kinda weird since he is dead) and it’s hilarious how much he aggravates Suze. Heather (angry, evil spirit) is absolutely crazy and truly believes that Suze is trying to take over her life and place at the high school.

You will find yourself constantly laughing in the most random of places and breezing through this book with no problem. If you are a fan of the paranormal, romance, and sarcastically funny protagonists, then this is a book for you!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! All teen girls should READ THIS BOOK!

Similar read: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White … Evie considers herself a normal teenage girl even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency.

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison

Title: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

Author: Louise Rennison

Publisher: Harper Teen    Year: 1st edition, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0064472272

Age: 13 and up

Genre: Fiction

Subjects / Themes: Young adult, humor, British comedy, social situations, family life, friendships, relationships

Awards: Not Just for Children Anymore! (Children’s Book Council), IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice, Michael L. Printz Honor Book , ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice (these are just the more notable awards, check out Rennison’s site for a full listing!)

Plot Summary:

I really loved this plot summary from amazon.com’s Brangien Davis so I thought I’d share it rather than write my own …

“She has a precocious 3-year-old sister who tends to leave wet nappies at the foot of her bed, an insane cat who is prone to leg-shredding “Call of the Wild” episodes, and embarrassing parents who make her want to escape to Stonehenge and dance with the Druids. No wonder 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson laments, “Honestly, what is the point?” A Bridget Jones for the younger set, Georgia records the momentous events of her life–and they are all momentous–in her diary, which serves as a truly hilarious account of what it means to be a modern girl on the cusp of womanhood. No matter that her particular story takes place in England, the account of her experiences rings true across the ocean (and besides, “Georgia’s Glossary” swiftly eradicates any language barriers).

The author, Louise Rennison, is a British comedy writer and it shows. Whether Georgia is dealing with wearing a bra (“OK, it’s a bit on the loose side and does ride up round my neck if I run for the bus”), pondering kissing and how to know which way to turn your head (“You don’t want to be bobbing around like pigeons for hours”), or managing the results of an overzealous eyebrow-plucking episode (“Obviously, now I have to stay in forever”), she always cracks us up. Georgia struggles with the myriad issues facing teen girls–boys, of course being at the forefront–but she does it with such humor and honesty it almost seems like a good time. This refreshingly funny book is ripe for a sequel, which readers will await in droves. (Ages 11 and older).” –Brangien Davis

My Take:

I love this book so much and find it so incredibly hilarious that I was afraid if I attempted a plot summary like Brangien Davis’s I would end up just retelling the whole thing! Of all the diary style books that I have read, this is by far my favorite. Georgia and her girlfriends are goofy, silly, crazy and seriously how I saw myself and my friends at her age. The tween/teen years are so awkward, yet it is comforting to read/hear about other people your age who are just as awkward if not more so than you are. No matter what she and her girlfriends do, things always seem to take a turn for the worse.

Parents (or guardians or educators) do not judge a book by its cover! When my school bought this book there were plenty of teachers and a few parents who thought it was inappropriate for the age group. Other titles in this series include On the Bright Side I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God and Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers. SOOOO, maybe the titles are a little shocking but this shock value is exactly what is going to attract the readers. Remember, Louise Rennison is a British author/comedian so it’s going to contain British humor. There is nothing wildly inappropriate about this series. Most of the kids who have checked out this book have either loved it or not understood its humor and as a result stopped reading. I would highly encourage kids to keep reading and to not forget that Rennison does provide readers with a glossery about British slang/language.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! As Georgia Nicolson would say it’s “Fabbity fab fab!”

Similar Read: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary … Ok, ok I know this is kickin it a little old school, but I seriously felt that Georgia Nicolson with all her mishaps could be a teen version of Ramona Quimby. Actually after reading the Georgia Nicolson series I felt an urge to go back and reread my old Ramona books.

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