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, #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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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring cleaning

It's finally spring and as the weather warms up, I feel so motivated to de-clutter, clean, enjoy the outside, and read.  How to do all of those at the same time?  Hmmmmm....

Well, I'm enjoying my audiobooks while I carry my little guy to soccer practices on Mondays and Wednesdays.  I have discovered how much I'm motivated to cook when I have an audiobook to keep me company.  The same goes for folding laundry.  I also find that when cleaning or de-cluttering my home or office, that my reading life needs some rethinking.  What about you?

In my #bookbootcamp discussions, I find inspiration to read so many new titles that my TBR list is growing disproportionately to my actual reading lists.  So why not apply the de-clutter and spring cleaning advice to our reading life like we do to other areas of our lives?

Those series titles that I tried but couldn't finish...swept off of my TBR list.  I dusted off a few titles sitting on my bookshelf and returned them to the library since I haven't read them in the 6 weeks they've inhabited the shelf.  Surely, there is someone else who can read these while I catch up on other good books!

Here are some great books I've read lately.  I've been heavily reading historical fiction and it started with the Luxe series by Godbersen, which lead to the Flappers series by Larkin.  While these wouldn't be appropriate for middle school, I do feel they give us some insight into those eras of history.  The one middle grades novel I've finished recently, One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, is a great Wild West mystery with a strong sharpshooting female character.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Liked False Prince?

If you're looking for a YA/middle grade fantasy with action and suspense, this is the start of a fabulous series...The Ascendance Trilogy.  The third book comes out in February and I have students who can't wait to get their hands on it.  Check out @nielsenwriter's blog for her ARC giveaway if you too are waiting patiently/impatiently for February's release date.

Check it out on Goodreads too!
I highly recommend The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Triskaidekaphobia fine clearance

So to encourage research on Friday the 13th, we offered fine clearance for all students who came into the media center and told us what the word triskaidekaphobia means.  It encouraged students to come into the media center, even if they didn't have fines!  Definitely worth trying on the next Friday that's a 13th.  It was a huge hit!