Winona’s personalities include:
Bridget (74), Maya (84), Briana (84), Sadia (84), and Hanna (85). Each student has read each book and then decided to defend one of them. Books were pitted off against each other in formal debates that were moderated by Mr. Rowinsky and an eventual champion was crowned.
The debates were recorded in April and over the next few days, starting Tuesday May 22 we will be podcasting the shows right here. And the winner of Winona Reads 2012 is…..
Fanatics by William Bell
A sequel to the very popular Stones, Fanatics is a thrilling story in which the past and present collide in terrifying, riveting ways. Garnet Havelock has just finished his apprenticeship in furniture-making, and has found a workshop for his new business in an old coach house on the isolated estate of recently deceased Professor Eduardo Corbizzi. Garnet signs a contract with the late professor’s long-time companion, the eccentric and inscrutable Mrs. Valentina Stoppini, who presides over the mansion and is its only occupant. The terms of the deal are excellent, but there’s a catch: Garnet has to repair the library’s fire damage and keep all details about the estate confidential. Only after he agrees does Mrs. Stoppini inform him that the professor died of a seizure in the library under mysterious circumstances involving “an accident” and “a small fire.” It isn’t long before a distressing collision of past and present drags Garnet towards a horrifying truth he could never have imagined.
Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loves, 15-year-old Abdul has made a long, fraught journey from his war-torn home in Baghdad, only to end up in The Jungle ? a squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais, France. He takes a spot in a small, overloaded boat heading to England and full of other illegal migrants ? and a secret stash of heroin. A sudden skirmish leaves the boat stalled in the middle of the Channel, the pilot dead, and four young people remaining ? Abdul, Rosalia, a Romani girl who has escaped from the white slave trade, Cheslav, gone AWOL from a Russian military school, and Jonah, the boat pilot’s ten-year-old nephew. The story of their frantic and hazardous Channel crossing makes this a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense.Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Neilson
Violet’s TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet’s mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet’s younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet’s mom can’t pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
On Ben’s thirteenth birthday, his parents introduce him to his new sibling: a hairy, swaddled baby chimp that will be raised as part of the family in an experiment run by Ben’s father, a behavioral psychologist. At first, Ben resists calling Zan his brother, but as he begins to communicate with Zan through sign language, he develops a true, loving connection with the little chimp, even as he realizes that his father views Zan as just a scientific specimen. What will happen to Zan when the experiment is over? Best known for his award-winning speculative fiction, Canadian author Oppel tells a thought-provoking story set in 1970s Victoria. A few drawn-out episodes and a somewhat rushed conclusion result in some uneven pacing. But Oppel beautifully grounds larger philosophical questions about the deep, mysterious bonds and boundaries between humans and animals with Ben’s coming-of-age concerns, including his first crush (whom he studies using scientific methods) and his acute awareness of family tensions, all narrated in his authentic voice. A moving, original novel that readers will want to ponder and discuss.
Robbie’s father is a spitfire pilot who was shot down during World War II and is now a POW. At only seventeen, Robbie lies about his identity to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force under the guise of going to a boarding school so that his mother doesn’t find out. He starts training in Brandon, Manitoba, but after acing all his classes, he’s dealt a disappointing blow when he’s assigned to be a navigator on a Lancaster. He wanted to be a pilot, just like his father, but the commanders of the air force have other ideas. Robbie is soon on his way to England, where he completes his training on missions bombing German targets in enemy territory. It is during one of these missions that his Lancaster is fired upon and the pilot and many of the crew are shot. It’s up to Robbie and his limited piloting experience to save the crew…and himself.