Saturday, August 9, 2014

When on Tybee or in Savannah...

Savannah Blues (Weezie and Bebe Mysteries, #1)Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love southern novels, esp. ones that take place in cities I love to visit, like Savannah or Charleston. Thus, this book fits the bill and while I think I read it way back when, I couldn't resist re-reading, esp. since summer is winding down and I'm on Tybee right now! Mary Kay Andrews ranks up there with other well knows southern authors like Dorothea Benton Frank and Mary Alice Monroe. This novel doesn't disappoint and Weezie is just a really lovable character. If her antics with Bebe don't make you laugh, something wrong!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Myth-O-Mania Series

Myth-O-Mania SeriesMyth-O-Mania Series by Kate McMullan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This would be perfect for our 6th graders who study Ancient Greece and Rome. It's on a lower reading level and reads pretty quickly. The gods are not deep characters but the story runs along with the myth to help for understanding and building comprehension of the myths. I liked the voices of each character. In this novel, we meet Hades and learn how he becomes God of the Underworld. I personally liked how Zeus was obnoxious and kind of a twerp in this novel. It goes against the traditional depictions of him as the mighty ruler of Olympus.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

E-I-E-I-O, preschool here we go!

Old Mikamba Had a FarmOld Mikamba Had a Farm by Rachel Isadora
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful new alternative for Old McDonald Had a Farm! This artfully pleasing picture book takes the old version and puts an African spin on it. The artwork is beautiful with many textures and accurate depictions of each animal on the farm. Of course, there are not just the traditional animals associated with Africa. There is a glossary at the end which tells you more about each animal. My 4yo was very interested in the ones he did not recognize so we spent time going through the glossary. This is a very valuable resource for integrating art and music into the classroom content!

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Laugh with the Moon (SC JBA Nominee 2014-2015)

Laugh with the MoonLaugh with the Moon by Shana Burg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great book about a girl, Clare, who has lost her mother and temporarily moved with her father (a doctor) to Malawi. She meets a local girl, Memory, who also has lost her mother and her father. She also becomes "mother" to a chicken named Fred. Clare must learn to adjust to a new way of life without the conveniences of American living while her father works at the local hospital. Clare attends a local school and finds a way to grieve her mother's passing through the opportunity to teach English to 176 school children, including Memory's little brother Innocent. His smile becomes a sign of peace for Clare. As Clare adjusts to life in Malawi, she must deal with another tragedy that hits very close to home again. Through it all, Clare becomes friends with local children, shows strength and perseverance in times of tragedy, and is sad when she learns she is returning to her home in Boston. What a powerful story! I hope Shana Burg keeps writing fiction for this age level!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tamora Pierce's "Alanna: The First Adventure"

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alanna is to girls what False Prince is to boys. Why have I never read Tamora Pierce's books? This was fabulous! I can't wait to read the next in the series. While reading, I couldn't help but think of Alanna as Joan of Arc, without overly zealous religious fervor of course. Alanna wants to be a knight so much that she disguises herself as a boy and takes her twin's place in the castle to train. Her magic gifts eventually come out and she is forced to reveal herself as a girl but she bests a bully in fights, makes friends with a local king of thieves, charms the prince, and becomes one of the favorites "knights in training" at the castle. What a great fantasy!

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Delirium

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you liked Matched, Divergent, or the Hunger Games, this is another great series to read!

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Latest Middle/YA Fiction Updates

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book in a day and couldn't put it down! Looking for the next in the series now...if you like Hunger Games and Divergent, this will appeal to you!



Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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