Monday, December 13, 2010

18 and

Aftershock by Kelly Easton

This novel tells the story of Adam, a 17-year-old who survived a car crash in which his parents were killed.  Shocked and traumatized from the crash, Adam begins walking, with no destination in mind.  He finds people to live with, but never speaks.  Adam can't get a handle on things and decides to walk home to Rhode Island...

Okay...I have to be honest here....I didn't really love this book.  It was kind of anti-climactic.  There was some build up, but nothing to get very excited about.  I kept wondering why, after realizing his parents died, nobody looked for him.  Odd...but that is just my opinion.

Recommended for: Low-level readers (this is a pretty easy read), kids looking for something short with an interesting premise

Rated: 2.5 Stars

Genghis Khan: 13th Century Mongolian Tyrant (Wicked History Series)
I've had several of these books for awhile and had a little office time this afternoon, so I chose to spend it with a cruel, yet oddly lawful, ancient leader.  This short book was actually really interesting.  I like history, but am no scholar in the area.  Therefore, I felt like I learned some cool stuff from this book.  Did you know that Genghis (not his real name!) lost his father at the young age of nine and was raised by a single mother?  Pretty shocking for someone who built such a HUGE empire. 
Anyway, I think I'll read a few more of these.....

Recommended for : history buffs, those that like short doses of neat facts, students who like biographies, but are fearful of large books

Rated: 4.75

Friday, December 3, 2010

Almost to 20...

Still having moving adventures, but managed to finish a short book last night...

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

Both a mother and her teenage daughter, Claire, who lead hectic lives, hardly have time to communicate face-to-face, so they mostly "talk" through notes posted on the refrigerator.  Through these notes, the pair bond, fight, and share information about their daily activities, but most importantly they discuss the disease tormenting Claire's mother.  Her diagnosis of breast cancer is a shock to them both, as well as the toll it takes on their relationship.  This book is heartwarming at times, but mostly sad.  It has the possibility of being very helpful to those who have suffered in this manner.

Recommended for: Readers who love Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult, students looking for a short, dramatic read

Rated: 3.5 Stars

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


In the past few weeks, I have been dealing with packing, trying to move, a book fair, Thanksgiving, three children (one of whom is sickly), and the end of a very successful school football season.  Needless to say, I am exhausted.  Also, I am falling short on my 100 book goal for this school year.  I should be nearing the halfway point soon, but, sadly, I've only read 16 books!!  Once I finally get settled (if that ever happens), I am locking myself in a room and doing nothing but reading.  Anyway, here are books 15 and 16...

Radiance by Alyson NoeI have to say that this was a ridiculously quick read (my fave kind!) and I must admit that I have not read the Immortals series, also by Alyson Noel.  This short novel shows what happens to Riley Bloom, a young teen, after she and her family are in a car accident.  Riley's sister, Ever, remains in the land of the living, while Riley and her parents are in the afterlife.  Riley regrets making the decision to join her parents and longs to be alive.  She is assigned a job as a Soul Catcher, where she is required to encourage "lost" souls to travel to the afterlife. 

This book is an interesting one, but I felt like I would be more "invested" in Riley as a character if I had read the Immortals series.  Those will now be placed on my WTR (Want to Read) list.  Have any of you read this series?  What did you think?

Recommended for: Fans of books about the dead/undead, students looking for a quick read

Rating: 3 Stars

Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks

Okay...I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, but I read so many fantastic reviews of this book that I thought I'd give it a try.  Surprise, surprise--it was thoroughly enjoyable.  I might be a graphic fan after all...
The story involves two kids who, not living up to their parents' expectations, have been sent to Camp Fielding, an educational summer camp.  When they get there, they notice that things don't seem quite right.  Not only are the kids mean, the counselors rigid, and the schedules grueling, but some of the campers seem to be really strange.  I won't spoil it for you, but it does involve alien/bird creatures and some awful people.  I liked it:)

Recommended for: Lovers of graphic novels, students who appreciate things that are "different"

Rating: 4.5 stars finish packing, moving, taking care of children, working, etc....:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book 14

National Geographic Amazing: 100 People, Places, and Things That Will Wow You

Normally not a nonfiction reader, I was drawn to this book while watching over my bookfair yesterday.  The photographs in this book are amazing!  Each photograph (or set of photographs) is accompanied by a description of the item(s) pictured, ranging from a couple of paragraphs to a couple of pages. This book is informative and will entertain reluctant readers.  They are "reading for information" even if they don't realize it!  My favorite entry is one in which a nature photographer details his experience photographing flamingoes.  He was in an aircraft overhead and just as he was about to leave, the flamingoes shifted into a shape....of a flamingo!  What a cool picture!  Hundreds of flamingoes in the shape of a flamingo.  Can you imagine?

Recommended for: Reluctant readers, students who like science, nature, or photography

Rating: 4 stars

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Book Fair week!

Woohoo!  It is Book Fair week and I'm so excited!  We do a fair with Scholastic each year and have been pretty successful so far.  The selections this year are great, but I'm not sure how much we'll sell based on the slow economy.  Most of my library friends in town have already hosted their bookfairs and they ALL said sales have been down.  Too bad:( 
Anyway, we love fair week and hope to get lots of freebies for the library. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book 13

Book 13 (100 book challenge) is done and it was a good one! I got my hair done yesterday and had an uninterrupted two hours to was magnificent. 

You by Charles Benoit

Kyle is a typical, brooding fifteen-year-old.  He is a member of the hoodies, a group of slackers who have a uniform consisting of worn-in jeans, a black tshirt, and, of course, a black hooded sweatshirt.  Therefore, he spends most of his time "trying not to get caught" by the adults and staying out of the way of the school jocks.  The only thing "mainstream" about Kyle is his crush on a normal girl, Ashley.  He talks to her often, but isn't courageous enough to make his move.   After Kyle is accused of taking a popular athlete's wallet, things can't seem to get much worse.  Enter the new kid...Zach McDade.  Zach is charming, friendly, and...a master manipulator.  He and Kyle become partners-in-crime until he finds Kyle's weak spots and decides to push them.

This book was sooooo good.  It is a fast-paced read, full of suspense.  Benoit shows the reader the horrors of high school and the twist at the end is unexpected and tragic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Rating: 4.75 stars
Recommended for: reluctant readers, readers looking for suspense or a fast-paced read

Happy Halloween...a few days early!

Mmmm...don't these cupcakes look awesome?  I treated my student aides today with some sweets, chips, and sodas.  They work pretty hard so I thought they needed an early Halloween.  Nobody is too old to celebrate!  We were on Fall Break last week so I've managed to stay away from the blogging world for a bit.  I have finished another book (#12) in my 100 book challenge.  I read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.  I am working on two others and am hoping to post about them this weekend.  Keep your fingers crossed...

We missed Teen Read Week due to Fall Break, so we will be celebrating next week.  What?  I like being fashionably late!  I chose some teachers to highlight next week and had them tell me the name of their favorite books.  They took a picture with a "mystery book" which I posted in the hallway.

The kids will be offered a chance to win a prize by matching the teachers to their favorite books.  It is always interesting to see how much (or how little!) they know about their elders. 

I also created a display based on the characters from Glee.  I got the idea from a recent conference and the kids love it!  I found pictures of the characters, printed, and cut them out.  Then, my student aides and I chose books we thought the characters would read (What would Glee read?) and put them next to the pictures.  Sooo cute and timely!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Bites

This video will be played on a laptop alongside a display of the books discussed.  Hope this generates some interest in our new books!

Flaky Fingernails....

Finished book #11.  Don't you just love the cover?  I can't tell if her fingernails are shiny or if the paint is flaking off...I like to think the latter because that is what my nails look like quite often:)

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne has just learned that she has pneumonia.  Her stepmom stops at the local pharmacy to pick up some medicine while Cheyenne stays in the car.  The car is stolen...with Cheyenne in it.  She is in a bad situation, but what makes it worse is....she is legally blind.
Griffin, the boy driving the car, realizes what he has done, but it is too late to turn back. He takes the car, with Cheyenne in it, to his father, Roy's, house.  Learning that Cheyenne is the daughter of a wealthy businessman,  Roy demands a large sum of money as ransom.  While held captive, Cheyenne forms a relationship with Griffin and tries to convince him to release her.  Will he let her go?  Will Roy kill her once he gets his money?

This was a pretty good and easy to follow.  It reminded me a little of Stolen by Lucy Christopher, but it wasn't near as creepy.

Recommended for: Teens looking for an adventure
Rating: 4 stars

Friday, October 1, 2010

Delivery Two

Shipment two came in this afternoon.  It includes:
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
The Demon King by Cinda Wiliams Chima
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Lost for Words by Alice Kuipers
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Payback Time by Carl Deuker
Torment by Lauren Kate
You by Charles Benoit
The Horrors of Andersonville: Life and Death inside a Civil War Prison by Catherine Gourley

Can't wait to read them all!

Book #10

Finally...I'm in the double-digits.  I DO realize that I must finish 90 more books by the middle of May in order to reach my goal of 100 books this school year.  It can be done....

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I know, I know...everyone else has already read this.  I tried to read this a few years ago and for some reason, it did not appeal to me.  Maybe it's the whole "end of the world" theme...anyway, I chose this as the October selection for my high school book club and I really liked it. 

A meteor crashes into the moon, sending the large object closer to Earth, thus affecting the moon's gravitational pull.  There are tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes and the results are catastrophic.  Miranda, through entries in her journal, tells the story of how the climate change, famine, and lack of communication from outside her Pennsylvania town affects her and the relationships she has with friends and family. 

Although this topic seems to be a little overdone, Pfeffer gives the reader a unique look at the after-effects of disaster.  At times, Miranda is a typical self-absorbed teenage, but she is also a loving person and selfless when she needs to be.  Her relationship with her mother is a little strained; however, she is able to look past that to see how much her family means to her.  Again, I truly enjoyed this book and will give it to many readers.

Recommended for: Adventurous teens or those interested in science and the future

Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Box One is here...

Just got to order several books from my favorite online bookseller and shipment one came in today!  So excited to be able to offer these books to my students.  We received:
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Freefall by Ariela Anhalt
Dark Song by Gail Giles
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

So happy these came today.  Now....which do I read first?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A New Stack...

I went shopping...and I have a new stack of books to read.  Hoping to plow through these this week, but I need to finish Life as We Knew It first.  This stack includes:
Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley
Crusade: by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie'
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Zombies vs. Unicorns by Justine Larbalestier & Holly Black

Have any of you read these?  What did you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Fall!!!

Wow!  The weather here in the south is getting much cooler.  We really needed the relief from the heat and humidity.  Fall makes me thing of football games, chili, curling up with a blanket and a book, and, my favorite,...pumpkin spice lattes from the 'bucks.  What do you think of when the weather gets cooler?

I was blessed with a slower day than usual yesterday, so...I worked on some displays.  Obviously, we needed something up for BBW (Banned Books Week).  I have a list of these books on our library software, but I wanted to highlight them by displaying several of the challenged titles. 

 This is the board outside the library.  It is pretty simple, but I wanted to make sure even those that don't enter the library know what is happening.  Even my wimpy kid dislikes censorship...

Here are some of our copies of banned/challenged books at the circulation desk.  This area gets the most traffic so I have had to spend some time replacing books, but...that means students are reading.  Yay!!
We put some of our titles in a cage to draw even more attention to this wonderful week.  The kids are intrigued as to why anyone would EVER want to ban books.  Hmmm...high school students are smarter (and more open-minded) than we expect sometimes.
Other displays....

Thought I would get a headstart on all things Halloween, so I put out the Fall decorations and put up a display of mysterious and frightening selections.
There are already books missing....always a good sign!

I also updated my Dewey display (switched from the zeroes to the 100s).

Lots of cool things on this shelf....makes me want to read a self-help book or two.

Anyway, I have also read two more books in my quest to read 100 this school year.  I finished these two babies last week:

The Savage by David Almond
This novel, told in text and images, explores the life of a young boy after the sudden death of his father. Short, yet disturbing, this book makes readers sympathetic towards young children who experience tragedy at a young age.

Recommended for: Boys and readers who are looking for a short, yet dense story

Rating: 3 stars

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
This book was recommended to me by a student who really enjoyed it.  I'm trying to branch out and read some graphic novels this has been interesting.  This book tells the story of a young, orphaned boy who must fix the town's clocks in order to stay under the radar after the disappearance of his uncle. Stealing to survive, he is caught by an elderly shop owner who takes his beloved book of drawings.  The boy must work at the shop in order to get his book back.  While he works, he develops a friendship with a young girl.  She helps him get his notebook back and they discover many things about their pasts....

Recommended for: Graphic novel lovers who want to try something a little (or a lot!) longer than the usual graphic novel books.  This would also be good for inventive types.

Rating: 3 Stars

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Seven...done!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Loved, Loved, Loved it!!  I have been anticipating finishing this book since it came out in August and FINALLY I got the chance to sit and read.  Although this is not quite as action-packed as the previous books, Mockingjay still packs quite a punch.  This is the pick for the October book club meeting, so....I am NOT going to review it yet! 

Seven books down...93 to go!  Ahhhhh!

Friday, September 3, 2010 short.

Okay...I have read five books and have 95 left!  There was a football game last night, so no reading was done:(  Here are my five....

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman
Teen sisters, Rosie and Skate, are left to deal with things when their alcoholic father goes to jail.  Rosie visits him often and wants to believe that he can be a better father.  Skate has given up on her dad and pinned her hopes on a future with her boyfriend.  Heartbreak, betrayal, and loss are all evident in the lives of these sisters, but they rely on each other and find that they can manage.  I have never before describe a book as "quiet," but that is the first word that comes to mind.  The struggles of the girls are told simply and even their actions, when faced with adversity, are calm and deliberate.  This is an enjoyable and quick teen read.

                                     Recommended for: Teen girls who like romance and drama (i.e. Nicholas Sparks)
                                     Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
I LOVED this novella!  Short and favorite.  This novella explores the life of newborn vampire Bree Tanner.  Readers will get a sense of what it is like on the dark side and how powerful the scent of blood is for the young vampires.  Bree explains the confusion she feels when the newbies are trained for the fight against the Cullens and how she reacts to the kindness after they find her in the forest.  I can only hope Ms. Meyer publishes more of these....

Recommended for:  Obviously, Twilight fans, but also those reluctant to delve into the series...this may make for even more book lovers!
Rating: 4.5 stars

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
I have to admit...I am not a fan of graphic novels.  I buy them for my students, but have never read them myself.  This novel has received glowing reviews, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  David Small shares his childhood memories filled with demanding, gruff parents and a short battle with cancer.  Through the pictures and the text, the reader can be prepared to really feel for Mr. Small.  I wanted to pick his little-boy self up and give him a hug when I saw how he was treated as a child.  This is a very quick read that many readers will enjoy.

                                     Recommended for: Empathetic teens and those who love graphic novels
                                     Rating: 4 stars

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is the selection for my teen book club this month.  It was recommended to me by a colleague last year and I have to say that I truly enjoyed reading it.  I tend to be more of an action/fantasy gal, but this realistic fiction book stood out as one of the better ones I have read.  Unpopular high school senior, Tyler Miller, gets into some trouble and is forced to spend his summer doing hard labor.  The result is a new, stronger Tyler Miller.  He begins to get some attention from the school beauty, Bethany.  After a night at a wild party, Tyler is accused of doing some bad things...This novel does a great job illustrating what it is like in high school as well as what it is like having a dysfunctional family.  The reader will see how easily a story can get twisted...
                                     Recommended for: all teens
                                     Rating: 4 stars

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Seventeen-year-old Johnny is battling some serious monsters.  He is currently in rehab and although he knows he is an alcoholic, he is not sure what led him to this place.  His mind refuses to let him relive a traumatic event from his recent past, yet his therapist and small-group peers are forcing him to remember.  Johnny's journey is not unique, but the circumstances which led him to rehab are.  An interesting read...

Recommended for: Teens who can handle controversial issues
Rating: 4 stars

Now...I am going to enjoy my Labor Day weekend with my family and hopefully finish a few books.  On the list: Mockingjay (I'm so excited!), Going Bovine, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm back....

Wow!  It was a fantastic summer!  We vacayed in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Sarasota and enjoyed much-needed family time.  Now...I'm back!  I read some over the break, but have a HUGE goal for the school year.  I am going to try to read 100 books this school year.  I am currently done with ONE.  Will post a review on that soon.  So...wish me luck...99 left!

Friday, April 30, 2010

3 more down...

Does anyone else ever walk through the library and have that feeling that it is imperative to read EVERY book you see?  I want to start in the As and read through to the Zs....hmmm...maybe someday;)  Anyway, I have recently read three books and I wanted to share them.

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci was the book chosen for the high school book club last month.  I have to admit that I wasn't very excited to read about bio-terrorism plus I thought the book would be semi-"dated" because it is advertised as being post-9/11 and my students don't seem very interested in this topic.  I was SO WRONG!  This book is awesome and the book club loved it! 

The novel follows a group of teens who have been variously affected by a toxin in the water system of a suburban town in New Jersey.  A few of the teens have been infected, three deal with deaths in their families, and two are computer hackers who follow clues left on the web by the terrorists themselves.  The story unfolds with each chapter being told from the perspective of a different character.  I am a self-proclaimed computer geek so I really enjoyed all of the hacking.  The novel had a quick pace with a few twists and a definite ending, although a sequel has just been published.  In my opinion, a novel is great if it "sticks with you."  This one did and I still (after reading this a few weeks ago) get a bad feeling when I drink tap water....I very highly recommend this.

I also recently finished Candor by Pam Bachorz.  This was recommended to me by one of my student library aides was great!  The novel is set in a society controlled by messages.  Oscar's father created the town of Candor in order to escape the memory of Oscar's dead brother. He controls things by playing a series of messages in hidden speakers throughout town. People in Candor have great marriages, the kids dress nicely and do their homework, and everyone is fit and healthy....or are they?  Oscar has a secret business to help the incoming teens get out...before it is too late.  He meets a beautiful, goth-girl named Nia and can't bear the thought of her wearing pink and volunteering for the community.  He doesn't want to see her changed so he risks everything to help her.  Can he save her in time?  What will happen if his father catches him and realizes he is not a perfect son?

Reminiscent of The Giver by Lois Lowry, this novel will please readers who enjoy dystopian fiction.  It has some slow parts, but for the most part, the plot moves quickly revealing just enough to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  I didn't love the ending, but that is because I wanted something different for spoilers here!  Recommended.

The other day, I was lucky enough to get a package in school mail.  It was the new selection for High School-High Interest from Junior Library Guild!  Think Again by JonArno Lawson (illustrated by Julie Morstad) tells the story, in short poems, of a young couple who meet and fall in love.  The title does reflect the book in that the reader must really "think" to get this story.  By themselves, the poems are beautiful, but I'm not sure if most teens at my school will want to work so hard to get the whole point.  The illustrations fit well with the poems and they actually encourage the reader to "think" some more.  I read this twice and appreciated it much more the second time.  This is a book that readers could read several times and get something different out of it each time.  Again, I'm not sure this will reach a large population of our students, but it will reach some, which makes me happy!  Recommended for deep-thinkers and lovers of poetry.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer Display!

We are deep in the trenches of testing, but I am still working at getting students in the library to check out some great books.  I am only open in the morning (before school), during our first lunch session, and after school, so I'm sure circulation will be down a bit this month.  I've spent my non-teaching days creating some new displays.  My favorite is the beach reads display.  Because the students can only check out books for the next three weeks or so, I figured now was a good time to get the summer books out.

Not the greatest picture I know, but I love the beachy accents!  In order to set this up, we covered the table with brown butcher paper and used aqua bandanas as accents.  I also purchased a few things on sale from Hobby Lobby (an umbrella, sand bucket, welcome figurine, palm trees, and an inspirational sign.

Now...for the books.  I LOVE walking through the shelves and finding books for displays.  For this particular theme, I tried to choose books that I would want to read while stretched out on the white sand, the sound of surf pounding and the feel of the sun on my (heavily sunscreened!) skin.  Most of the books are "light," but I chose a few books with deep messages.  Here is my list....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Display video

I got a great idea from another blogger about making a short video to place next to a display of the books shown in the video.  Sort of a digital booktalk....hope you like it!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hilarious book!

Stupid and Contagious
by Caprice Crane

This has got to be one of the funniest books I have read in a long time (thanks, Krista!).  Recently fired from a top PR firm, Heaven is now waitressing at a trendy restaurant in NYC.  She is a major fan of music and is convinced she will die at the age of 27 if not married.  This fear is based on the fact that several of music's greats (Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin) died at 27.  Brady, wannabe inventor and non-successful musical producer, just moved in to Heaven's apartment complex after breaking up with his psycho girlfriend and leaving HIS rent-controlled place.  The two become friends and end up trekking across the country to find Brady a new band and help him market his unique invention, Cinnamilk. Told in alternating points of view, this book will keep readers in stitches with tales of Heaven's antics and Brady's inability to stay away from her.  This is an adult romantic comedy and some of the situations are mature, but the author, in my opinion, doesn't "push the envelope" too much.  Recommended for those who can handle mature situations and want to laugh.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back from Spring Break!

Wow!  I can't believe it is already 4th quarter!  I had a relaxing Spring Break with my family and I feel refreshed and ready to tackle many projects for the next few months.  Believe it or not, we had sunny weather last Friday and ....snow on Saturday!  It was crazy.  I did get some interesting reading done over the week.  The first book I read was  Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

This is the story of Valerie Leftman, the girlfriend of Nick, a deceased school shooter.  Often the victim of school bullies and the "popular" crowd, Valerie and Nick creat a "hate list" to document all of the people they dislike.  To Valerie, the list is a way to "vent"--it is an outlet to help her handle high school, but...Nick takes the list seriously.  The novel is told in alternating chapters of before, during, and after the shooting.  This book is very similar to Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult, but, in my opinion, easier to read.  Readers will identify with Valerie's feelings of guilt in creating the hate list, but also with the love she still has for the "old" Nick. 

The second book I read last week was You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems about Boys by Sharon G. Flake.

This collection of short stories and poems about African-American teen boys was quite interesting.  Subjects range from a young man facing his dead brother's terrible secret to one trying to stay out of the gang lifestyle.  This is a quick read and highly recommended for teen boys.

The third, and final, book I tackled over the break was The Espressologist by Kristina Springer.

Pure chick-lit!  The Espressologist tells the story of Jane Turner, local barista turned matchmaker.  This was a quick read and it made me want some creative coffee drinks!  This would make a great beach read!

In other news, I just got several boxes of books from Amazon and I can't wait to dive in to some of these books, including Readicide, Purge, and Lockdown: Escape from Furnace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Followers requested....prize in store!

Hey guys!  I have a "drawing" in store for you.  Become a follower of the Book Bites blog and your name will be entered in a drawing for a prize!  This will run through Friday.  I will randomly choose a follower and will then request an address to the prize winner.  Good luck! 
In other news, I finished Dork in Disguise last night and will post a short review later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Riker's High by Paul Volponi

Teenager Martin Stokes is locked up for a  petty crime he didn't even mean to commit.  Through a series of miscommunications, his stay in jail has lasted much longer than was intended.  After another upsetting court date, Martin is sent back to jail and is caught in the middle of an inmate fight.  His face is slashed, marking him as either a brawler or a weakling, neither of which will help his cause.  Martin is moved out of the main "house" into a smaller unit.  Because his stay has been extended for a couple of weeks, he must attend a GED class while incarcerated.  The teachers are a unique mixture and Martin must learn to fit-in with the other students, all while thinking of vengeance for his new scars.  Readers are left to wonder if Martin will stay strong and make it to his release date or if he will give in to the jail games and get his revenge, prolonging his sentence. 

This book was interesting and even angered me at times.  It reminded me a little of Boot Camp by Todd Strasser and could also be paired with No Choirboy, a new HS Sequoyah nominee.  Recommended for teen boys.

Witch and Wizard

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Let me begin by saying that I really enjoy James Patterson's adult novels.  They are fast-paced and exciting.  I am not a fan of the Maximum Ride series.  I know, I know...teenagers love them, but I can't commit to a series that I don't love, especially one about kids with wings.  I was truly excited about starting this novel.  It has a great beginning, but I was left hanging at the end.  It actually says TO BE CONTINUED!  This might not have bothered me so much if the second book was out.  ARGHHHH! goes.

CRASH!  BOOM!  What is that noise?  Mysterious men have broken into the Allgood home and accused siblings Whit and Wisteria of some awful deeds.  They take the kids to a secret prison where they are questioned and treated cruelly.  Whit and Wisteria discover that they have special powers and as they are beginning to learn how to control them, they end up in a strange land.  They embark on a journey to find their parents and rescue the other imprisoned kids.  This novel leaves you with many questions that will hopefully be answered in book two.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two New Books

I finished two books over the weekend (reviews posted on Shelfari--you can scroll over their covers on the shelf on this blog to read them). I liked 7 Days at the Hot Corner, but did not enjoy Feathered. Both were very quick reads so I now I need to find another book. Thinking about trying the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. It has been recommended to me several times and I borrowed it from a student (Thanks, Tim!). Hoping to start it tonight...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Thief trailer on YouTube

Here is a link to the trailer of The Book Thief. Although this is being made into a movie, this is NOT the actual movie trailer. Enjoy!

The Book Thief

I LOVED this book! I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but this novel is so much more than that...this is the story of a young girl, Liesel Meminger. Liesel's mother must put her in foster care because she is unable to care for Liesel and her younger brother. On the train to her new home, Liesel's brother dies leading to her first encounter with Death, the narrator of this story. Liesel steals a book from her brother's gravesite, but is unable to read it.
Liesel is introduced to her new family and after some time, she adjusts to life with the Hubermanns. However, she is plagued with nightmares. When she awakens in tears, her foster father is there to comfort her. They begin midnight reading lessons to help Liesel catch up to her classmates. She becomes obsessed with books and words (love her!).
As tensions rise during World War II, the Hubermanns get a strange visitor. Max, a Jewish man, asks for their help and they decide to hide him in their basement. Although they are very poor, the family is mostly happy until one fateful day when Hans Hubermann tries to help a Jewish prisoner on the way to Dachau, the local concentration camp. This is a must read! It is about friendship, family, death, survival, war, and much, much more. I highly recommend this!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blogger on the tech move!

Okay that I have been posting to the blog for a bit, I decided to get a facebook page for the library AND I'm on twitter! Search for MHS Library on FB or mhslib on twitter to become a fan or follow. If I can stay on top of things ( a BIG if), there will be posts on new books, book club meetings, etc. Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

I have been wanting to read this book since I read the outstanding reviews. I think I may have built it up too much...I enjoyed reading this, but it was kind of confusing at first. It contains MANY elements of fantasy, almost too many. I had a hard time connecting the guardian angel element with the vampires. Why both? I appreciate the fact that the author kind of took a lighter side in telling the vampire story (in my opinion). I thought the book had a good amount of humor in it and it didn't have all the drama of Twilight and others like it. If you are interested in knowing what this book is REALLY about, read my review on Shelfari. You don't have to actually go to my Shelfari can just scroll over the cover at the right of this blog.
I am currently readingWarrior by Marie Brennan and trying to prepare for this month's book club meeting.