Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy late Easter!

Here's hoping everyone had a hoppin' time yesterday to celebrate Easter.  I know I did!  So...remember when I said I have read some more books and needed to blog them?  Well,... here they are:

Does My Head Look Big in This?
By Randa Abdel-Fattah

In my quest to read through my library, I picked up this colorful paperback the other day.  I have been wanting to read this book for awhile, so I was excited that I was finally making in a priority. 
This novel tells the story of Amal, an Australian-Palestinian girl who decides to wear the hijab, or head-covering, all of the time.  She is now a "full-timer."  Many people weigh in on her decision.  Her mother, also a "full-timer", and her father warn her of the prejudice she may face.  Her close friends support her decision to embrace her religion and culture. The principal of her very exclusive, private high school requests a meeting with her parents and her classmates ignore her....at first.  What will Amal do?  Will she continue to wear the hijab, despite the stares and treatment she gets?  Or will she decide to take it off to return to anonymity?  An interesting read, I would recommend this to any students who have faced bullying or harassment, or those interested in learning about other cultures.

Rating: 3.5 Stars
This is appropriate for all teens.

Reality Check
By Peter Abrahams

Cody is the "Big Man" on campus, dating the cutest girl and enjoying his success as quarterback of the football team.  His girlfriend, Clea, comes from a very wealthy family and her father does not agree with the seriousness of their relationship.  She is sent away to a boarding school and she and Cody make plans for the future.  He will get a football scholarship and they will meet back up at an Ivy league school.  Cody faces a career-ending injury at the beginning of the season and eventually drops out of school, feeling no hope for he and Clea's plans.  One day, he is wandering through town, when he sees a newspaper headline stating that Clea has disappeared from the grounds of her exclusive school.  Cody feels a strange pull to help find Clea and heads to Vermont.  Once there, he meets her new friends and boyfriend and discovers that the rich have some terrible secrets.  This mystery will delight readers who yearn for suspense, yet also want a happy ending.  I actually stayed up really late to finish this book....it's a good one!

Rating: 4.5 stars
Recommended for: Mystery lovers, those that like a little romance with their suspense, boys who may need to be "hooked" with a football story

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I've been neglecting the blog, but....I've been loving life!  As a busy mom-of-three and a full-time library media specialist, it is extremely difficult for me to find make time for "extra" activities, like reading, blogging, getting my hair cut, etc.  Anyway...I have read some great books lately and will try to post some short reviews tomorrow.  Ta ta for now...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Won't you be my sweetheart....

In honor of the day of loooove, we got a little crafty in the library....

 XOXO made out of letters purchased at Hobby Lobby and scrapbook paper.
 Heart word cloud made at tagxedo.com.

 3-dimensional heart made out of scrapbook paper and framed in a CHEAP Hobby Lobby frame.
Foam ball covered with cupcake liners.  Doesn't it look like a sweet bunch of flowers?

Of course, we had to advertise our romances...

They went over well...we had to replenish the display quite often this month.  I am currently working on a display for Black History Month, but I'm having a hard time.  Any ideas?

In other news....I have finished four more books.  In honor of my 32nd book, Six-Word Memoirs, I have decided to post these reviews in six words.  Let's see....

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Yummy: The Last Days of a Soutside Shorty
By G. Neri and Randy DuBurke

Wow...this graphic novel is based on the true story of 11-year-old gang member, Robert "Yummy" Sandifer.  He was a "shorty" for a gang in Chicago.  While shooting at a rival gang, he took the life of a 14-year-old girl, a past classmate.  Yummy spends the next few days hiding from rival gang members and the police.  Just as he is about to turn himself in, members from his own gang find him and end his short life.  Was he a ruthless killer?  What caused an 11-yr-old to do this?

The story of this child is so sad.  I have worked at schools with a gang population and I can tell you that I have seen the good in these kids.  The sad thing is that once they leave school, they are fighting for their own lives every single day.  Most of these kids see no other way of living.  How can we stop this?  I wish I knew the answer....
This book would be great in the hands of teens, but also in the hands of professionals who work with youth.  It is captivating and heartbreaking.

Rated: 4.5
Recommended for: high school students, teachers, administrators, etc....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mo' books.

Yes...I have actually read some more books!

By Allie Condie

Seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes has waited her whole life to attend her Matching ceremony.  She is dressed in a beautiful green dress, fed delicious food, and given her "Match", the boy she will someday marry.  Cassia is surprised to find out that her Match is her very best friend, Xander.  Upon being matched, each teen is given a box with a data card containing information on the other.  Although Cassia knows a lot about Xander already, she is eager to see what his data card says.  She slips it into her computer and is immediately show a picture of her Match.  The only problem is....the Match shown is not Xander.  In a society where there are no mistakes and each decision is made for the individuals, errors are not acceptable.  Cassia is counseled by an Official about the mistake and told that someone must have pulled a prank on her, but Cassia has a hard time believing this and begins to wonder about the other boy.  Her friendship with him grows and, in a life with no choices, she yearns to choose who she will marry.  This rebellious attitude causes Cassia and her family much trouble and endangers the life of the other boy.  Cassia must decide what she is willing to risk in order to be happy.

I have read so many great reviews of this book that I couldn't wait to read it.  It was not disappointing!  The characters are well-rounded and the author does a great job of setting up this futuristic world.  Readers will be anxious about the release of the next book in this series (trilogy?).  The only negative thing I could possibly say about this book is that it doesn't seem very original.  It is kind of a combination of The Giver, Candor, Hunger Games, and The Uglies.  The good thing is...I liked all of those books, so I thought this was great.

Rated: 4.5
Recommended for: All high school readers

You Can't Read This: Why Books Get Banned (Pop Culture Revolutions series)
By Pamela Dell

This book is a concise source on book banning, where it originated, and possible reasons for censoring books.  It is an entertaining read and includes many photographs, pictures of political cartoons, a timeline, and an extremely useful bibliography.  Many of my students are required to write papers on a specific book on the "banned" or "challenged" lists.  This will be a wonderful source for them.

Rated: 4
Recommended for: All high school students