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Check It Out

Courier Article by Maryann Mori
Sunday, June 3, 2007

You'll Enjoy Reading This Summer - Bank On It!

Want some extra bucks? the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library and its various sponsors are giving away "Cold Cash for a HOT Summer" at this year's summer reading program. Ages 12-18 can collect "book bucks" by completing library-related activities, including reading. Each book buck is a chance for monetary grand prizes. Here are a few money-related titles to help you "Bank on Books."

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld.

Innovators are people who try or wear something different simply because they like it - not because they're trying to make any kind of fashion statement. Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque, however, knows cool when he sees it, and it's his job to take pictures of those Innovators and give them to his employer who then develops the ideas as trends and markets them to teens. When Hunter takes a picture of shoelaces Jen is wearing, a mystery develops that includes kidnapping, mind-warping techniques, blackmail and bootlegging by the anti-client. You'll wonder about your definition of cool as you try to keep up with this fast-paced novel.

Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers.

"Sometimes, living here in Harlem, we walk on the sunny side of the street and sometimes we walk on the shady side. E[Y]ou got to be careful on both sides of the street." This is the advice that Mark's dad gives him. Too bad Mark wasn't more careful on that shady side. He's a teen living in Harlem in 1925 - a time of Harlem Renaissance writers and musicians as well as bootleggers and gangsters. When Mark tries to earn a fast five dollars, he is suddenly on the shady side of the street facing a future of either life in jail or the end of his life by a hit man. As he tries to straddle both sides of the street, Mark begins to realize how difficult it can be to decide what kind of person he really wants to be. Read the back of this book first in order to understand the real historical people and places that are a regular part of Mark's life.

Lunch Money by Andrew Clements.

Greg Kenton wants more money and is always willing to work for it, but he's disgusted by the way his long-term rival, Maura Shaw, always imitates his money-making ideas. Greg believes he's found the perfect way to make some extra money when he starts creating and selling comic books to the other kids at school. What Greg doesn't realize is that he's also found a way to get not only himself, but also Maura, a math teacher and a whole lot of other students in big trouble! Greg needs to develop a new marketing plan, but this new one may force him to understand why he craves money and what it really means to be successful.

Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake.

Raspberry Hill is another teen who craves money and is willing to work for it. Unlike the character in the previous title, though, she has other reasons for craving money. As she goes from one money-making trouble to another, Raspberry tries to understand why she seems destined to live a life of poverty and homelessness. One thing she may never understand is why her mother takes Raspberry's stash of dollars and starts throwing it all out the window of the housing development where they live. Written in the voice of Raspberry, this book is a quick read that leaves an impression.

Maryann Mori is teen services librarian at Central Library. She can be reached at (812) 428-8229. The opinions expressed in this column are personal and do not reflect policies or official recommendations of the library.