Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reading Plans

I am excited to have a little bit of time to read over break! After finishing the riveting Hunger Games Trilogy, I have some high expectations for the next few books I plan to read.
On my Winter Break reading list: The Red Blazer Girls, A Whole Nother Story, or The Postcard. I'm also hoping to get the second book to Chains , called Forge, for Christmas.

When the weather gets so cold and frightful, there's nothing I love more than cuddling up with a great book! Happy reading!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Flipping for Flipped

Another great book!! It is no surprise Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is being made into a movie. The story begins when Juli Baker's world is turned upside by the new boy next door, Bryce Loski. Fast forward years later to the eighth grade where both Bryce and Juli ride the emotional roller coaster of the teenage years. Flipped is sure to warm your heart and tell a story everyone can relate to!!

Flipped is written from two different voices, those of both Juli and Bryce.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reading Marathon....

I am in LOVE with The Leanin' Dog. Sweet little Dessa-Dean is having all sorts of troubles after her mother dies until one day a dog, with a hurt leg, happens upon the cabin she lives in with her father. It has been days since she has left the porch of the cabin and her loneliness is starting to get the best of her. Will the mysterious dog stay? Can it help Dessa-Dean overcome her fears? This is an unexpected new favorite. I did not expect to enjoy it, but I highly recommend it!

Other summer reads... 39 Clues Book 1 (Finally!) by Rick Riordan - > fun!
Sounder (another finally!) by W. H. Armstrong -> a great classic
Highway Cats by Janet Taylor Lisle --> let me know what you think. It has a great theme, but it is a little odd!)

What I'm reading now... Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Books!

I have read many wonderful books so far this summer! The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has to be my favorite so far. I must warn you, it is an intense book and can be violent at times. I felt such a connection with the characters, it was hard to put the book down. I would recommend this book for the advanced fifth grade reader and above. Rumor has it The Hunger Games will soon begin filming for a full length movie!

Looking for more adventure and a little less violence? Check out Football Hero by Tim Green. I first fell in love with his books after reading Football Genius. The characters are realistic and beg the reader to relate. I found Football Hero to have a faster pace than Football Genius. Life is not easy for Ty. He is a middle school student who longs to play like his college to pro football star brother, Thane. After losing both of his parents in a car accident and being sent to live with his unforgiving relatives, Ty must overcome more than one obstacle to be able to play for his middle school football team. Will it all work out for Ty? Read and find out!

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor, is unlike any book I have read before. Georgina is a young girl who must learn to adapt when her father walks out and leaves the family homeless. As her life unravels, Georgina must find a way to help her mother find a home for their family. Stealing a dog with the hopes of claiming a reward becomes a last result for Georgina. It is difficult to compare How to Steal a Dog with the other books I've mentioned, but it should not be overlooked! Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Why did I wait so long to read Savvy?
I am in love with this book! On their thirteenth birthday, children discover their Savvy, and for Mississippi (Mibs) Beaumont, this birthday is like no other. Saying more would ruin the story, just trust me, you have to check out this book!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I had a hard time falling for...

....Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell!

It is a rare occasion when I purchase a hardcover book. Falling In looked magical when I saw it a few months ago at the Scholastic Book Fair and I decided I had to have it! Little red boots on the cover, an Alice in Wonderland appeal, and magical swirls caught my eye. Yet, it goes to prove, looks are decieving. Not until I reached chapter 32 (or so), did I find myself truly engaged in my reading. The adventure, or lack thereof, moves along slowly. The references to Alice in Wonderland and Hansel and Gretel are vague and do not offer much to support the story. Falling In did not have the instant hook I needed to fall in love as I have so many other times. This is not to say, however, there is not an audience for the story. Fantasy lovers, especially those enchanted by fairy tales, may find Falling In to be the perfect summer read. Let me know!


While reading for a graduate class assignment I stumbled upon a few quotes. One in particular caught my attention:

"It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations - something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own"
~Katherine Paterson, 1995

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Summer!

After an incredible school year, summer has finally arrived! It was great year for books in Room 121. My students made a petition to have me arrested for purchasing too many books for the classroom. As a result, I had to buy even more!
Here are a few I plan to start first....
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Savy by Ingrid Law
Flipped by Wendelin VanDraanen
When You Reach Me (this year's newbury) by Rebecca Stead (In progress)
Falling In by Francis O'Roarke Dowell (In progress)

Plus... I haven't even hit up the library yet!

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 5, 2010

So many books, so little time

It has been a busy semester at school, for the fifth graders and myself at graduate school! Yet, thanks to the conveniences of modern technology, I've managed to stay up on some of my reading while driving to and from work or class. If you haven't read the following titles, I more than recommend them, I insist you pick them up at your local library or bookstore and give them a try. They are just THAT good!

Firegirl by Tony Abbott -> A powerful story about a 7th grade boy who experiences what true friendship really means. Emotions run deep as the narrator details his experience getting to know "the new girl," who was badly burned in a terrible accident. When she begins 7th grade at the new school, many take their fear and turn it into rumors, hate, and lies. Yet, for a young man, he sees beyond her scars and wounded skin, and is able to see the power of a true friendship.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson -> The incredible story of a young slave girl, Isabelle, during the time of the Revolutionary War. After the death of her mother and master Isabelle and her sister Ruth are sold to a loyalist couple in New York. Facing a new home, new people and ultimately the loss of her mother, Isabelle is forced to make difficult decisions about her own freedom. Should she risk spying on her Tory master for the Patriots in an attempt to obtain freedom for herself and Ruth? So far, I can't quite put it down.

Another incredible story of facing adversity, Yellow Star was so good I could not put it down. Young Syvia is four years old when her family is forced into the Lodz Ghetto in Poland. Approximately 27,000 Jews were held against their will behind barbed fences with limited rations and terrible working conditions. Years later, 800 survive, 12 of them children. The power of this true account of a Holocaust survivor lies in the innocent perspective of the narrator, Syvia. Written in free verse poetry, Syvia's story is guaranteed to capture your heart and remind you of the harsh conditions suffered by all throughout the Holocaust.

Some more not so serious titles-- Hank Zipzer and Shredderman.... full of fun and adventure! I loved them both!!

Happy Reading!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


First, there was Because of Winn-Dixie, then, A Dog's Life, and now Sheep. Dog stories that break your heart and make you want to rush to the nearest shelter and adopt one, two or maybe three, and bring them home to spoil them rotten. In Sheep, a brilliant border collie's adventures out on the road, alone in the harsh human world, gives us a different perspective on the life of a stray. From the Goat Man to the Circus to Raggedy Annie's house, the experiences of Shep (or Spot, Lucky, or any other name you'd like to give him) will warm your heart and keep you reading. In the end, I think Sheep may help us realize that we all have a need to wander a little before we find where we are truly meant to be.

Sheep is perfect for the dog lover, who enjoyed A Dog's Life and Because of Winn Dixie. A great read!