I don't usually choose a book by its cover, but this one, with a boy in a body bag grabbed my attention right away.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I don't usually choose a book by its cover, but this one, with a boy in a body bag grabbed my attention right away.
I am the first to admit that I am not a fan of Almond's writing. His book Skeling was just creepy- although I know many of my friends who have similar reading tastes enjoy his books. The plot of this one intrigued me (growing up, child soldiers, foster care) so I figured I would give it a try.
Imagine one night, you go to bed, you wake up in the morning, shower and when you go to check yourself in the mirror, you can't see yourself. This is exactly what happened to Bobby Philips one day. He is sure something is wrong with his sight, he knows he is there, but nothing he does makes himself appear.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I've been thinking about what my friend Steven wrote in response to Walking Backward about the large quantities of books available to young adults dealing with grief and pain. Steven wondered if it is an attempt to prepare ourselves for what could happen. I wonder if it is so that people can find books that help them get through rough times. You can take comfort from knowing that others have dealt with what you yourself are dealing with. It is also a relief to have someone express your thoughts and feelings in writing if you can't do it yourself.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Up until a few months ago, Josh was a normal 12 year old boy. He fought with his younger brother, loved to play soccer and had a happy family life. Then, the unthinkable happened- his mother died in a car accident. Ever since then, his life has totally fallen apart. It is up to Josh to deal with his brother Sam- who is having a lot of trouble dealing with the death of his mother. His father has taken to hiding in the basement building a time-travel machine. Josh is left dealing with the loss of his mother as well as trying to hold it together for his family.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
At the Scholastics Book Fair in October, one of my students Morgan picked this one up and lent it to me when she was finished.
There are several books by this author that I have started to see in all the Scholastics orders. Natasha Friend writes about some serious issues that young adults are facing. Her stories are well written and very believable.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This book was suggested to me by one of my students Kaitlyn, I'm glad she did. This book, while set in the near future, really makes links to today. We don't think anything of giving out personal information over the internet, using bank cards and credit cards. Our Health Cards and Driver's Licence also store a great deal of information that is accessible with a quick swipe.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Agnes and Honey have been best friends their whole lives. Born just a few weeks apart, they have shared a crib and a room for the first seven years of their lives and have been inseparable forever. They have grown up in a religious commune, where their lives are a bit different from the outside world. They wear blue robes and attend church services every day. When they do something wrong, they aren't punished by their parents, but by their religious leader Emmanuel and second in command Victoria.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I was pretty excited about finding this book. It looked Hunger Gamesish (the book that all books must live up to in my classroom)- children fighting against a power hungry government.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I picked this one up at the book fair. If it wasn't for my friend Steven, I would have left it on the shelf. I'm not much of a graphic novel reader- I just can't seem to get the whole story out of just the pictures. Having said that, once I got pulled into Malice, I couldn't wait to find out how it ended. I like the fact that there was both a story told through words and through pictures. To be honest, I didn't really think the pictures were that great- I found it really hard to follow, the pictures seem to lack the detail of other graphic novels I've seen. But, I would love to hear what graphic novel readers think of the pictures in this book.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm just checking out some sites on the internet when I came across this list- kind of interesting. How many of the top 10 teen reads have you read? Me? I've only read two- so I can see I am going to be placing a call to Titles today to order some other books.
2009 Teens' Top Ten
More than 11,000 teen voters chose Paper Towns as their favorite book in the 2009 Teens' Top Ten! The online poll took place from Aug. 24 through Sept. 18, with the winners announced during Teen Read Week by WWE Divas Brie Bella and Nikki Bella, with a special appearance by John Green. See the video.
- Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin/Dutton)
- Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
- City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
- Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
- Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)
- Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (St. Martin's Griffin)
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Disney-Hyperion)
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
One of my students, Laura, suggested I read this book, Rachel Hawthorne is one of her favourite authors. I can totally see why she would like this book, it is a nice romance story for girls. Alyssa has just broken up- or is taking a break- from her boyfriend. He decided to go to Australia on a couch swapping adventure for winter break leaving Alyssa on campus alone. Alyssa isn't too sure what is happening with their relationship, she is just trying to fill the time that he is away with work and taking an extra class at school. What she didn't realize is that the man he is couch swapping with is expecting her to be his tour guide and main contact in Vermont.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Under the heading- don't judge a book by its cover... This book cover reminds me of my high school English course when we read Old Man and the Sea. However- this book is amazing!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
For anyone living in Peterborough- this is a great way to pass on your favourite book!
Elizabeth Laird is an author like Deborah Ellis. She writes about children around the world. These types of books can be a challenge to read because they are dealing with issues that are so unfamiliar to us.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This is a new author for me- and I like him! I read that this book is a cross between The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies. The Maze Runner is a strange story that starts with Thomas waking up in a box. He knows his name, but doesn't remember anything else about his life before waking up in this box.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Diego lives in the Women's Prison in Bolivia with his mom and sister. His dad is across the road in the Men's Prison. Life is difficult for Diego and he always worries about money and taking care of his family. Because Diego is a child, he is allowed to come and go as he pleases from the prison. He often hires himself out to inmates as their 'taxi' buying things from around the town for them.
I seem to be on a roll with books that have so much potential to use with kids, but are sprinkled with content that is a little out of what I would be comfortable giving to my grade 7 students.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Nicole is a typical 14 year old girl. She is worried about boys, school and parents. When she hears gunfire at an Anne Frank exhibit, she is suddenly transported through time to Nazi occupied Paris during World War 2. Nicole begins to struggle with her new life and new rules that she is forced to live under.
In this story, 14 year-old Emmaline is an inventor of aircrafts. She is ready to try her newest invention, the only problem is she is afraid to fly. The boy next door seems to be incapable of getting hurt it seems like a match and things start to fall into place for the two of them. That is until Emmaline is forced to go to school at St. Grimelda- a horrible place where the teachers are unkind and the girls are even worse.
Gabrielle and her new friends have made it through the war, but things are still very dangerous for them.
I don't read a lot of fantasy books, but this is one I really enjoyed.
In this sequel to We All Fall Down, we learn what happens to Will the day after he escaped from the south tower at the World Trade Center. Filled with relief that both he and his dad are home safe, he is just happy to be in his own bed and together with his parents. Then Will remembers his best friend James still doesn't know what happened to his father.
This book is for younger readers. Normally I wouldn't put it on the blog, but I just finished reading it with my boys (ages 8 and 10) the other night and they wouldn't let me stop reading it. They loved this book. I don't think it has much literary value- but it was a big hit with my kids.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Izzy lost her mother 2 years ago, but luckily her and her dad have always been very close. They have survived this loss by growing closer.
Matt knows better than to get into a strangers car. But when the stranger ends up being his dad- things get very strange, very quickly.
This book follows the "Among the Brave" series.
Bernice is a 16 year old girl with a lot on her plate. Her mother is an alcoholic and Bernice is expected to look after her younger brother and sister. When they end up living at a deserted summer camp, things start to look brighter for the whole family as they try to repair the damage of living with alcoholism.
This book was published (and read by me) a few years ago. It is another Walters hit.
This hard-to-find book(although I saw another copy at Titles the other day when I was there) would be a great follow up to teenagers looking for the next book after Twilight. This is the classic story of a boy and girl on opposite sides falling in love. Except there is a twist.
First off- a warning- this book is for mature readers. I'm not sure I will give it to any grade 7 or 8 kids- there is some swearing and some sexual references in it too.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
For all purposes, it seems that Ashely has everything. She is doing well in high school, has an amazing boyfriend and is absolutely beautiful! Yet things start to fall apart in her well orchestrated life. Ashely is someone who doesn't want to disappoint anyone. It is difficult to keep her family happy, especially when they seem to want her to succeed in everything she does.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've just finished reading the last of the City of Ember books- thank goodness! Having read the first two a few years ago, I remember really liking them. These last two, not so much! The Diamond of Darkhold at least dealt with the main characters Lina and Doon- which was something the Prophet didn't do at all.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This is the sequel to Stargirl- a great book about a free spirited girl who learns just how difficult it is to be different from everybody else.
This book, is the prequel to The City of Ember series. It has been a few years since I read City of Ember and The People of Sparks, but I do remember enjoying both books. I wasn't as thrilled with Prophet of Yonwood.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
After a long wait, the sequel to The Hunger Games is finally here. I was a bit leery of reading this one- the first one was so unique and I really liked the conclusion to the first Hunger Games and didn't think anything could live up to it. I was wrong- Catching Fire was incredible. I think I like it even better than Hunger Games. If you haven't read the Hunger Games- stop reading this and get yourself a copy of both books first!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Brady has the greatest life! He has two best friends, a dog and Chesapeake Bay for crabbing and oyster fishing. While the town is changing with new people moving in, Brady is still very content in his life. One day at school his dad comes and asks for his help finding neighbours who went out on the lake during a storm. When Brady learns that these neighbours are a mother and her 3 year-old son, Brady starts to panic -and for good reason.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
One normal night at the Osborne house, Jack along with his mother and sister are confronted by men breaking into their home. They are told not to tell the police or their father will be killed. The next morning as they are still trying to decide what to do, the FBI arrive and start searching their home. With their heads still spinning the Osborne family learns that their father has been involved in some dangerous things with some dangerous men. Now, the family has to enter the Witness Protection program. Jack now has a new name- Zach.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Mazzy is a young girl trying to hold everything together. Her dad left town for 'a week' over two months ago and her mom won't get out of bed. Now Social Services has come for a visit and the neighbours are offering to help. Mazzy doesn't want any help, she just wants her family back. She knows why they have fallen apart and over the course of the story there are hints as to what has happened to this family.
This was another book by Roland Smith that came in a package from Scholastics at the end of June. I really like Smith's writing- I can see why boys are so drawn into his writing- there is adventure, action and enough scary bits to make it a compelling read.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I just finished reading this book by a new author to me- Neal Shusterman. He has written one strange story here!