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IBO Learner Profile - Balanced

Are You Seeing Me?

Are you seeing me? by Darren Groth
Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest. It's been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother.But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they're seeking to create the perfect memory. For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes. For Justine, it's a chance to reconcile the decision to 'free' her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc - and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs. But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble. (Back cover)

NIPS XI

*NIPS XI by Ruth Starke *
If white boys can't jump, can Asian kids play cricket? Lan's fed up with being called a nip.

He wants to be a true blue Aussie. What better way than by playing the greatest Anglo game of all? Lan gathers a team together and defiantly gives it a name: NIPS XI. Now all they have to do is get some equipment, find a coach, get themselves a sponsor and learn the rules of the game. Then it's time to challenge the best cricket team in the district.

A funny, empowering story of cricket and curry, spinners and leggies, NIPS XI is about overcoming cultural barriers, in sport and in life.

Struck by lightning : the Carson Phillips Journal

Struck by lightning : the Carson Phillips journal by Chris Colfer
This book follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker.

The Apple Tart of Hope

The apple tart of hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world's most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.

The dead I know

The dead I know by Scot Gardner
Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can't explain, and memories he can't recover. Death doesn't scare him - his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn't discover the truth about his hidden pastsoon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.

My basmati bat mitzvah

My basmati bat mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman
During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for "star") Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-o--who might also be her boyfriend--and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with that snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith.

The Keeping Quilt

The keeping quilt by by Patricia Polacco
"We will make a quilt to help us always remember home," Anna's mother said. "It will be like heaving the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night.
And so it was. From a basket of old clothes, Anna's babushka, Uncle Vladimir's shirt, Aunt Havalah's nightdress and an apron of Aunt Natasha's become The Keeping Quilt, passed along from mother to daughter for almost a century. For four generations the quilt is a Sabbath tablecloth, a wedding canopy, and a blanket that welcomes babies warmly into the world.

In strongly moving pictures that are as heartwarming as they are real, patricia Polacco tells the story of her own family, and the quilt that remains a symbol of their enduring love and faith.

Holding Up the Universe

Holding up the universe by Jennifer Niven
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours

Tyranny

Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield
In Tyranny, brisk, spare text and illustrations that deal head-on with anorexia propel the reader along on Anna’s journey as she falls prey to the eating disorder, personified as her tormentor, Tyranny.

The novel starts with a single question: “How did I get here?” The answer lies in the pages that follow, and it’s far from simple. Pressured by media, friends, the workplace, personal relationships, and fashion trends, Anna descends into a seemingly unending cycle of misery. And whenever she tries to climb out of the abyss, her own personal demon, Tyranny, is there to push her back in. The contest seems uneven, and it might be except for one thing: Anna’s strength of character has given rise to her deadly enemy. Ironically, it is that same strength of character that has the ultimate power to save her from the ravages of Tyranny.

Brilliantly and realistically presented, Tyranny is a must-read for anyone looking for a better understanding of eating disorders and for everyone looking for a compelling page-turner that is truly a story of triumph and hope.

10

Uglies

Uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen...the age that means turning pretty. Where Tally lives, everyone gets an operation to turn them beautiful on their sixteenth birthday, and then the new "pretties" move to a town where their only job is to have a really great time. When Tally's friend Shay runs away from the city because she doesn't want to be turned pretty, Tally is given the worst choice she can possibly imagine...tell where Shay is, or never be turned pretty.