Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
This was the first and only “humorous” book that I read for class. And I do have to admit, that I really enjoyed it! Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan is a lighthearted story about a boy who is invited to join an exclusive club formed by anonymous students called the Chaos Club. When Max Cobb first receives the invitation, it’s a dream come true. The Chaos Club is a club that has been around for the past 40 years pulling off some of the greatest pranks in the history of the school. So when Max goes to meet the club members, he is surprised to find four other “misfit” students whom have also been given invitations. It is soon apparent, that Max and these other four, have become the latest recipients of a prank by the Chaos Club.
After the initial shock, the five, now calling themselves The Water Tower Five (you’ll have to read the book to find out why!), agree to take down the Chaos Club and reveal the identities of the members. Now it becomes an all-out prank war. Who will come out on top: the Chaos Club or The Water Tower Five? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
I really did enjoy this book; it was a very quick and easy read. Students are going to enjoy reading about the pranks that are pulled, and finding out who is behind the “Chaos Club”. I believe any student who is looking for a light, funny read will thoroughly enjoy this novel. It does have a couple of innuendos that are more of the mature variety, but I don’t believe it’s anything most teenagers have never heard. Overall, it was nice to have a book that was on the lighter side, I tend to read more books with a darker tone to them.
Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton
Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton was a novel I read as my “outside my comfort zone” book. This is not the type of book that I would have normally picked up to read, but I am SO glad I did! This has now went to the top of most favorite YA books ever!
Soldier Boy is a story about Ricky Anywar, a fourteen year old Ugandan boy who was taken by Joseph Kony’s guerrilla army in 1989 and forced to fight for them. It’s a heart-breaking story that brings you into what life is like in Uganda with the civil war and what the young people go through when they are kidnapped by the rebel armies. It’s a story of pain and resiliency.
The story then continues twenty-years later with a fictional boy named Samuel. Samuel was also part of the kidnapped Ugandan boys who were made to fight. He is actually a representative of all the children that find themselves in that situation. Samuel has been freed from their grip, but now is having a hard time trusting anyone or dealing with life after what has happened. With the help of the “Friends of Orphans” program, which was founded by Ricky, Samuel learns to trust again.
I found myself gasping, crying, and angry throughout the entire book. I knew what happens to the children taken was not good, but when you actually read the story and hear what they go through, it brings a whole new perspective. I believe this is an important subject that is easily forgotten with us. Students should read this as it would open their eyes to how lucky they are to be here and learn that there are injustices in the world that all people should be aware of.