Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School

Back to school....back to school.  Sometimes I get that tune from Billy Madison in my head and I can't get it out.  Too funny.

Today, my kids wrote 6 word reading memoirs and I just had to share.  They are awesome and show that reading is still alive in middle school!  Yah!  I can't wait to book talk some good books tomorrow and get some of these tomes off the shelf and into the hands of kiddos!

A good read always helps you.

I love reading past my bedtime.

Middle School.  Not enough reading time.

Pleasure reading seems like forever ago

Reading always helps me relax everyday.

Good books do not like me.

Reading and me don’t get along

Don’t like textbooks.  Boring and big. 

Reading is life.  Get With It.

Reading all the time.  Not stopping

Haven’t found a really good book.

Reading is like being an adventurer.

Reading is an escape of stress.
Books are better the second time.

Imagine myself inside of a book.

I could read all summer long

I flip for a good book.

Opened  a book.  Fell in love.

I always read a good book.

Takes me to a different world.

Reading a book.  Leave me alone.

Not my favorite, but it’s okay.

Read.  You’ll never be bored again. 

I love reading all the time.

Reading since young.  Still loving it.

Love to read.  Book by book.

Reading is like being an adventurer.

I'd love to hear if you do this in your classroom or not.  The activity is taken from I Can't Keep My Own Secrets.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I am truly loving the audiobooks that Penguin is so graciously sending me for review.  And, I am a huge Theodore Boone fan.  Plus, there seems to be a cavernous hole in YA where mystery stories are concerned.  Not sure why- or, am I missing something?  This time*, Theo is under suspicion and about to be arrested for a theft that occurred at a local electronics store.  Thus, the young Boone is found in a new place in his life, trying to defend himself.  As usual, his "de-barred" uncle comes to the rescue to help Theo find a way out of his mess.  The beauty of this audio is Richard Thomas' narration.  I dare you to listen and not want to shout, "Good Night, John Boy!"  The pacing and voices Thomas adds to the narrative are soothing to the ears and portray the characters' personalities through voice quite well.  I have listened to the last two Theo Boone novels and have been thoroughly satisfied.

*For those unfamiliar with this series, Theodore Boone is the son of Marcella and Woods Boone, who are both lawyers.  Each novel provides another mystery to be solved, but they are all very close to the main character (i.e.  he doesn't find mysterious dead people, etc).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holy Moly- No Wonder It Won Two Top Awards! Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Despite the fact that the picture of the author looks like he could have been my student a few years ago...this was an incredible read. I need to go back and reread it immediately. I knew it would be all over our Book Awards talk next year, so I had to read the novel that won BOTH the Printz and the Morris Award this year.

The layers, oh the layers! I love layers in a novel. First, we have the religious aspect, which I found fascinating. The Gabriels and the Lazaruses (Lazari???:), and the Book of Enoch- which I'd never even heard of before? Not to sound like a religious scholar, but I guess I'm not up on my Gnostic Gospels and other sundry books left out of the Christian bible. I loved the threads of redemption, resurrection (of things and people) and obsession where Cabot and Benton were concerned.

I'm having difficulty doing this in a linear fashion because I want to talk about the layers. The other layer I loved was all of the different forms of love in the novel: friendship love, family love, brotherly love, romantic love and neighborly love. The ties between Cullen, Gabriel and Lucas really tugged at my heartstrings, hoping beyond hope that Gabriel would be found/rescued before the end of the novel.

Additionally, the whole idea of "things coming back" both physically and spiritually really hit home with me. So many of the characters tried so desperately to get out of Lily, Arkansas, only to be brought back by a variety of circumstances, like an endless boomerang being flung from the town's limits. But, I guess I am still wondering at the end if Gabriel really made it back or it was part of Cullen's 3rd person narration at work in his own mind. The book's website made me think it was a real return, but that kind of spoils the discussion I would want to have with students. There is evidence for both sides.

So much more here, but I will keep it at that. This will fly off of the shelves. Can't wait to book talk it on Monday.