Thursday, March 12, 2015

Here are some of my new favorite books!
Laurie Halse Anderson is a fantastic author, and she's done it again with this powerful coming of age story. Hayley lives with her father who struggles to deal with demons from his past. He is an Iraq war Veteran, and is dealing with some serious PTSD. Hayley also has some painful memories that she must confront as she experiences a new school, and new relationships. I'd recommend this book for grades 7 and up. 

 Ann M. Martin also wrote A Corner of the Universe. This story is about Rose, who has high functioning Aspergers Syndrome. Rose is misunderstood at school, and doesn't have anyone who truly understands her. Then, her beloved dog and best friend, Rain, goes missing during a hurricane. Similar to The Impossible Knife of Memory, Rose lives along with a troubled father. This book is appropriate for grades 6 and up.
In a community where parents are only allowed to have two children, Luke is a third child. He must stay hidden from the Population Police, as well has his new neighbors. Unexpectedly, he befriends another "third child" who changes his life forever! Readers of all ages would enjoy this fast paced story! It's book #1 in the Shadow Children Series. 

Every year, two children are taken from a small community. One is delivered to the School of Good, and the other goes to the School of Evil. Sophie tries to be perfect, and hopes to end up chosen for the School of Good, where characters like Cinderella and Snow White were once students. Agatha seems like a perfect fit for the School of Evil. What happens when the roles are switched? Sophie ends up at the School of Evil and Agatha is taken to the School of Good! This is an exciting journey of self discovery and a funny story told with terrific writing!

I've been meaning to read The Maze Runner for a while, and I finally got to it this year! Thomas goes on the adventure of a lifetime inside The Glade - a surreal environment where survival is key and life is harsh. When the only girl appears suddenly, everything changes. This book will hook you from page 1!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to Catch A Bogle by Catherine Jinks with illustrations by Sarah Watt...

Young Birdie has an interesting job. She is an apprentice for Alfred the Bogler, a man who catches monsters for a living. Birdie is actually his "bait" for this mysterious monsters who would love nothing more than a tasty child for dinner. Set in London, this is the first book of a new trilogy by Catherine Jinks. So far, I'm really enjoying this book although fantasy usually isn't my first genre pick! Check out the book trailer - it's a little scary at first but you'll get the idea after about 1 minute. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Running Dream

I've just started reading The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen. It's a story about a teenage girl, Jessica, who is involved in a terrible bus accident. She is severely injured, and ends up loosing a leg. Jessica is an avid runner, and her life is turned upside down by this accident. However, she is lucky to be alive.

As she tries to regain normalcy in her life, she befriends a girl named Rosa, who has cerebral palsy. This is a story about strength, determination, and friendship. Jessica takes an incredible journey and really finds out who she is.

This book is a great pick for both boys and girls who enjoy realistic fiction. The author's message is clear, and it will benefit readers of all ages!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Novels in Poetic Verse

During poetry units, it's a wonderful idea to read a few novels in verse. Check out Scholastic's List of Novels in Verse for some ideas. I've added a few of my favorite titles to this blog.

These novels are emotionally driven and can be "that book" that leads students into a love for reading. They tend to be shorter reads because of the format.

For teachers, these books can be a wonderful supplement for history units. They provide student with exposure to poetry without overkill. Reading these types of books can be a great way to practice fluency. Students can also create short, meaningful readers theater skits based on the story, or a just a chapter from the book.

If you are looking for a great addition to a classroom or home library, novels in poetic verse are definitely something to consider!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Beautiful Novel for All Readers!

Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage, and Triumph is my new favorite nonfiction book. Travis Roy tells the story of his heartbreaking accident that left him paralyzed after playing in his first BU hockey game. The writing is honest, real, and extremely heartfelt. It teaches young readers a powerful message about life and what it means to really live. This would be a great book to read with a student. Travis's story touches the heart of all readers. I highly recommend this book! As we get closer to the holiday season, we could all use a reminder about the importance of family, love, and living life to the fullest.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Full Tilt - A Wild Ride!

Full Tilt by Neil Shusterman is a wild ride! It's haunting, dark, and suspenseful. Blake's troubled younger brother Quinn, has disappeared. Not physically - he's actually laying in a hospital bed. Emotionally and mentally, Quinn has vanished. It's like his soul has disappeared. It's up to his older brother, Blake, to save him. Blake is invited to a secret, ghostly carnival where he has to ride 7 terrifying rides before the sun rises in order to save Quinn. Sounds easy, right? Well, these rides incorporate some of Blake's worst fears and they make him question every aspect of his life. Can he achieve this task, save his brother? Read this book to find out! It's a great read for anyone interested in an adventure novel that has moments of terror and intensity!
I just started reading Small as an Elephant and so far I'm really enjoying it! It's a story about an 11 year old boy  named Jack who has just started an amazing camping trip with his mother in Maine. Yes, Maine! Acadia National Park, to be exact. Jack wakes up on the first morning of this trip and finds that his mother is gone. The car, her tent, and all of her things have vanished. He has no idea where she went, and she is not answering his phone. So, Jack decides to go looking for her. You quickly learn that this is not the first time his mother has disappeared like this. Jack knows he must find her before someone else does, because they could be separated forever if he doesn't. 

Finding his mother in Maine is very difficult. He goes on an adventure to locate her in some of the most beautiful areas in our home state. You will probably recognize the names and locations that are described in this wonderful book. Just another reason to read it! 

This book is about family, strength, and forgiveness. I recommend it to all readers who want something emotionally rich and very meaningful! I have a copy in my classroom library!