Subscribe: Everyone's Blog Posts - TeacherLibrarianNetwork
http://teacherlibrarian.ning.com/profiles/blog/feed?xn_auth=no
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
book show  book  girl  goodreads book  goodreads  https goodreads  https  part  rating stars i  rating  read  show  view reviews 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Everyone's Blog Posts - TeacherLibrarianNetwork

Everyone's Blog Posts - TLNing (teacherlibrarian.org)





Updated: 2018-02-23T02:10:45Z

 



Book Review: How You Ruined My Life

2018-02-18T16:57:39.000Z

Preview read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

"How You Ruined My Life"

By Jeff Strand @Jeff Strand

Publication date: April 3, 2018

Thanks to netgalley.com for providing this advanced readers copy.

Humor without curse words! A high school punk rock band without curse words! A book that would work in either middle school or high school without curse words!

"How You Ruined My Life" is a humorous story based on the premise of…

Preview read courtesy of http://netgalley.com
"How You Ruined My Life"
By Jeff Strand @Jeff Strand
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Thanks to netgalley.com for providing this advanced readers copy.

Humor without curse words! A high school punk rock band without curse words! A book that would work in either middle school or high school without curse words!

"How You Ruined My Life" is a humorous story based on the premise of opposite finances. Two high school cousins who haven't seen each other in 10 years have to live together for three months. Rich cousin from California has to live with poor cousin in Florida. The author does a good job of creating the main characters' personalities including having the reader flip-flop back-n-forth over which cousin is the crazier one.

Written as if the Florida cousin is narrating the story to the reader, the first-person storytelling effectively conveys the desperate need for the cousin to have the reader on his side, while at the same time admitting how awkward his convincing is. Struggling readers may need some reminding that the style of writing is at times conversational, at times an internal dialogue, and at times a brief, stray off topic - just as anyone relaying a longer story might stray off topic.

The book comes across as a battle of wits and wills, pranks and pratfalls, while at the end there's a bit of a Bildungsroman. This sets up the possibilities of a conversation with readers if they would forgive and forget or hold a grudge, if they would go one with their intended paths or forge a new plan for their futures.

Though humorous books are sometimes a hard sell, I'd purchase this for my HS library (and recommend it to our MS library) because it's an accessible, light-hearted read.




Two Questions to Ask Yourself When You're Struggling

2018-02-15T15:56:09.000Z

A STRATEGY FOR ELICITING SELF-COMPASSION

Life can be challenging. Sometimes these challenges arise when things don’t work out the way we’d prefer. Sometimes we create our own struggles without realizing it. Sometimes bad things just happen.



Many of us, when we’re in the midst of a personal challenge or struggle, put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We lament our circumstances and beat ourselves up for not making the right choice or behaving in a way that could…

A STRATEGY FOR ELICITING SELF-COMPASSION

Life can be challenging. Sometimes these challenges arise when things don’t work out the way we’d prefer. Sometimes we create our own struggles without realizing it. Sometimes bad things just happen.


Many of us, when we’re in the midst of a personal challenge or struggle, put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We lament our circumstances and beat ourselves up for not making the right choice or behaving in a way that could have (theoretically) helped to avoid this problem. Some of us even self-flagellate about how we suck in general, and that our personal crappiness is why these life struggles arise.


Beating ourselves up like this doesn’t help, and I would like to offer a strategy that may, at the very least, help us be gentler with ourselves in order to deal with our struggles more skillfully.

READ MORE --->




New Year, New "No"

2018-01-17T14:55:06.000Z

The Power of NO

The path to simplicity begins with a refusal of the nonessential and unproductive.

It's been several decades since Americans were first introduced to the idea that they should "Just say no." While the context of this was originally about saying no to drugs, I believe this recommendation has even greater potential for those of us…

The Power of NO

The path to simplicity begins with a refusal of the nonessential and unproductive.

It's been several decades since Americans were first introduced to the idea that they should "Just say no." While the context of this was originally about saying no to drugs, I believe this recommendation has even greater potential for those of us looking to simplify our lives in one way or another. In my ongoing effort to simplify my life, I have found that there are two general categories to which I offer a steadfast and gracious "no" when I can: nonessential external demands and unproductive internal beliefs.

It is important to emphasize that saying no is not negative or selfish or uncaring. Instead, saying no to one thing is equivalent to saying yes to what is more important to you.

READ MORE -->




Slowing Down & Savoring the Season

2017-12-06T18:51:14.000Z

It may seem rather counter-intuitive to propose that we all make an effort to slow down this month because, of course, it is December.



Assuming you’re reading this the first week or so of the month, take a moment to think about all the events you’re scheduled to attend, the holiday preparations you need to make, and the extra errands you’ll need to run.



Add to that the unique challenges we as teachers face at this time of year:  preparing end…

It may seem rather counter-intuitive to propose that we all make an effort to slow down this month because, of course, it is December.

Assuming you’re reading this the first week or so of the month, take a moment to think about all the events you’re scheduled to attend, the holiday preparations you need to make, and the extra errands you’ll need to run.

Add to that the unique challenges we as teachers face at this time of year:  preparing end of semester assessments, grading cumulative projects, having one more administrative observation squeezed in, and the last-minute calls of parents hoping their child can submit makeup work.
 
Maybe you’re feeling like you’ve got a handle on all of it, which is fantastic.  If you’re like me though, thinking about this makes me feel a bit anxious and overwhelmed before even getting started.  Truth be told, I know we’ll all get through the run-up to the holidays just fine.
 
But here’s the thing – I’d rather not just “get through” the weeks leading up to holiday break.

[READ MORE]




Book Review: Plague Land by Alex Scarrow

2017-11-22T21:41:31.000Z

Plague Land by Alex Scarrow

Read through NetGalley

publishing date December 1, 2017

No spoilers in this review...

Getting this review in under the wire! But.... Plague Land is GREAT! To be honest, I wasn't getting into it at first, but I soon couldn't put it down! And for those of you who don't like cliffhangers, this isn't one; though, it does leave itself open for a sequel!

Just enough…

Plague Land by Alex Scarrow

Read through NetGalley

publishing date December 1, 2017

No spoilers in this review...

Getting this review in under the wire! But.... Plague Land is GREAT! To be honest, I wasn't getting into it at first, but I soon couldn't put it down! And for those of you who don't like cliffhangers, this isn't one; though, it does leave itself open for a sequel!

Just enough science to make it scifi instead of fantasy, it is a story with a wide appeal. While the tension isn't too aggressive to scare off casual readers, avid fans of runaway virus stories won't be disappointed, either. The characters have depth - as far as the typical YA novel where the child is smarter than the parent goes. There is even international appeal as the virus goes, um, viral.

What's really appealing is the great descriptions of the evolving virus. Scarrow's adept as creating vivid images without details that drag down the storytelling.

I will definitely be getting this for my high school library!




It's Time to Stop Beating Yourself Up

2017-10-19T14:44:26.000Z

“It’s time to stop beating yourself up.”

When I speak to groups of students or educators, I make sure to touch on self-compassion as an important part of mindfulness practice.  Typically, I begin with the statement above, shortly followed by, “…it’s not working, nor is it doing what you think it is.”

 

I start my overview of self-compassion with this because the experience of mentally beating oneself up is rather universal in our culture.  Just about everyone…

“It’s time to stop beating yourself up.”

When I speak to groups of students or educators, I make sure to touch on self-compassion as an important part of mindfulness practice.  Typically, I begin with the statement above, shortly followed by, “…it’s not working, nor is it doing what you think it is.”
 
I start my overview of self-compassion with this because the experience of mentally beating oneself up is rather universal in our culture.  Just about everyone does it, and I would guess that you do, too. (If you don’t, that is fantastic – keep at it!)

Negative self-talk and the inner critic are so pervasive because many people see it as useful.  Some people even resist being gentler with themselves because they think self-flagellation is how they “hold themselves accountable” or “stay in line” or “teach themselves a lesson” when they mess up.

 

What occurs, in truth, is that we activate our stress response - our heart rate rises, blood pressure goes up, and our cortisol (the stress hormone) levels increase.  This elevated state is not one where you can learn any sort of lesson.

Beating yourself up is a learned habit, and I would like to invite you to change this habit by doing the following: 

read more --->




Transitions Are Hard - Be Gentle with Yourself

2017-08-28T16:09:00.000Z

This week is teacher work week.

As I write this, I am now at home after an all-day, off site professional development training with all the certified staff at my school.  The details of the training itself aren’t particularly important.  What is important is how I felt by the end of the day: really, really tired.

read more -->

This week is teacher work week.

As I write this, I am now at home after an all-day, off site professional development training with all the certified staff at my school.  The details of the training itself aren’t particularly important.  What is important is how I felt by the end of the day: really, really tired.

read more -->




The Comic Book Story of Video Games - book review

2017-07-08T18:55:23.000Z

The Comic Book Story of Video Games by Jonathan Hennessey and Jack Mcgowan, published by Ten Speed Press, publication date October 3, 2017.

This is my first non-fiction review, so be gentle on me :o)

I'll begin by saying how surprisingly interesting I found the subject to be; I intended to read this to see if my high school Manga-loving students would like this. I've decided that, even if they wouldn't, the…

The Comic Book Story of Video Games by Jonathan Hennessey and Jack Mcgowan, published by Ten Speed Press, publication date October 3, 2017.

This is my first non-fiction review, so be gentle on me :o)

I'll begin by saying how surprisingly interesting I found the subject to be; I intended to read this to see if my high school Manga-loving students would like this. I've decided that, even if they wouldn't, the robotics-, engineering-, and coding-type gamers would! There were so many interesting factoids in the telling of this history. (I'm tempted to leak a few to you here, but I wouldn't want a spoiler alert tagged to this review.) Suffice it to say, that in 181 pages of story, I annotated 24 or so places with 'interesting factoid.'

The vocabulary might be a bit elevated for some high schoolers, but those with an interest in this topic will probably glean or look up the meanings of the unknown terms; it doesn't happen often enough to turn off a reader. There were a few places where I felt a chronological disconnect to the unfolding of the history, almost as if the author thought the relevance of a fact was more important in deciding its placement than pure chronology; if only that were always the case... at least twice I needed to reread sections because I thought I had 'missed' something, but rereading didn't clarify the information placements. Still, it was historical, so I tried just to absorb the significance of the information without the need to strictly enforce the chronology.

The storytelling depends heavily on Moore's Law without ever explaining it. (see http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wired-explains-moores-law if you, too, don't know Moore's law.) There were also a few places where I would have liked to have been told the source of the information being touted as fact since I practice a healthy skepticism of weighted adjectives that appear alongside data.

The distractions described were fairly minor to my overall enjoyment of the history of video games (hint: my first personal awareness of video gaming coincides with page 87 or so). I thoroughly enjoyed the many pop culture, political, and historical gaming evolutionary connections the author made throughout the story. Psychology, marketing, politics, war, engineering, computers, electricity, culture... the author included something with which a multitude of readers could engage. (Simply put: something for everyone.)

My enjoyment was OBVIOUSLY enhanced by the clever, detailed, and engaging drawings in this graphic novel. At least twice I full-stopped reading just to appreciate the humor and allusions the drawing provided to heighten the experience. The pictures were not merely embellishments; they sometimes were the story! Some of the best pictures were enough to jog my memory, explain something new, or complete a written explanation. [Note: The cover doesn't do the inside any justice.]

I'm looking forward to recommending this title to my non-fiction readers as well as my computer, gaming, coding, and Manga-ing students (and teachers!)




Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

2016-04-13T21:20:36.000Z

(image) Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff


My rating:

(image) Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I had this on my TBR shelf but with April as mystery month with my twitter book club #yearofya, I pushed it forward and boy am I glad I did! Talk about a thriller; you have a teen assassin who completes his missions (get in quickly, don't be noticed, befriend the target, kill, & leave unnoticed) for The Program which has a very very dark side. "Boy Nobody" gets his information in coded texts & calls from Mom and Dad and the latest is to kill the mayor of NY. But this mission is unusual, he has only 5 days to complete it and with this come questions about his life both before and during his time with The Program. Zadoff created a very believable teen assassin, the chapters, the boy's thoughts and words are all short & clipped creating a very tense atmosphere with each page. I am looking forward to more in this series!



View all my reviews




The weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie Mclemore

2016-04-13T21:05:28.000Z

(image) The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Oh did I love this audiobook, one of my favorites; the… (image) The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh did I love this audiobook, one of my favorites; the magical realism reminded me of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby but the carnival traveling shows reminded me of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! This is also part of the Hub Challenge, Morris Award winner I am involved in completing. There are 2 rival shows - the acts of the Paloma's are mermaids and the Corbeau's are birds and along with this is a long history of hatred, lies, secrets, taboos & suspicions. Enter Lace (a Paloma) and Cluck (a Corbeau) who happen to save each other on separate occasions. From this meeting, all of the sick family history and taboos sever Lace from her family but luckily she secretly works for the Corbeau family as a make-up artist. And it is here that Lace & Cluck fall in love and the long standing myths are tested, revealed, and overflow in a magnificent scene where Lace & Cluck take on both families. McLemore's plot, setting, imagery, dialogue and language (French & Spanish) drew me in and had me rooting for Lace & Cluck. Especially beguiling were the narrators, Kirby Heyborne and Cynthia Farrell, they brought this magical world to life and continued the fantasy as each chapter unfolded and the reader was plunged into this world of urban fantasy. Highly recommended!!!


View all my reviews



Found (Mickey Bolitar Book 3) by Harlan Coben

2016-04-07T22:03:54.000Z

(image) Found by Harlan Coben

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I will enjoy discussing this mystery with #Yearofya on 4/26 at 8pm. If you love mysteries, join in this twitter chat! I… (image) Found by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will enjoy discussing this mystery with #Yearofya on 4/26 at 8pm. If you love mysteries, join in this twitter chat! I loved this 3rd book in the Mickey Bolitar series & I certainly hope there will be a #4. Mickey and his friends Ema, Rachel, and Spoon continue to help save/rescue others as part of The Abeona Shelter network, help Ema find a lost online boyfriend, and Mickey continues to try find out more about his father's death. There was right amount of tension, drama, mystery, gore, and scary moments; I look forward to more YA mysteries from Harlan Coben!


View all my reviews



Havana Motor Club Lesson Plan - U.S. Cuba Relations

2016-04-06T12:53:07.000Z

…Hope you will be willing to share with your teacher and student populations, particularly in light of President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba.

 

The groundbreaking documentary movie Havana Motor Club will be released by Samuel Goldwyn Films 8 April.

 

QR Code files for listed resources are also attached…

…Hope you will be willing to share with your teacher and student populations, particularly in light of President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba.

 

The groundbreaking documentary movie Havana Motor Club will be released by Samuel Goldwyn Films 8 April.

 

QR Code files for listed resources are also attachedHavana%20Motor%20Club%20Racing%20History%20Lesson%20Plan_20160405.docxHavana%20Motor%20Club%20Racing%20QR%20Codes_20160406.docx for classroom-based mobile device use.

 

Feel free to contact me with questions, etc.

 

Take care.

 

Tom

 

Tom Adamich, MLS

President

Visiting Librarian Service

224 Chauncey Ave. N.W.

P.O. Box 932

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

330-364-4410

vls@tusco.net




The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

2016-03-26T23:26:46.000Z

(image) The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant


My rating:

(image) The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read/listened to this audiobook as part of the Hub Challenge (Amelia Bllomer YA, Top 10 List) and oh was it good. I could not stop listening to actress, Linda Lavin's beautiful retelling of her life as Addie Baum to her granddaughter. I learned so much about the 1900's in Boston as Addie was born and raised by immigrant parents from Russia who argue incessantly, the turbulence of the times with illness, death & war and the strong personality of Addie and her sister while her oldest sister has a very sensitive constitution. Addie's view of the world is humorous, honest, and forward thinking. I so enjoyed this vibrant novel; highly recommended!



View all my reviews




Faceless by Alyssa Sheimel

2016-03-26T23:23:27.000Z

(image) Faceless by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I read this novel as part of #yabookchat twitter discussion. When we meet Maisie, she is enjoying a… (image) Faceless by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this novel as part of #yabookchat twitter discussion. When we meet Maisie, she is enjoying a morning run, loves being on the track team, loves her boyfriend, Chirag and best friend, Ellen. As she finishes her run, she stops to enjoy the morning when a lightning storm hits, and that is all she remembers until she wakes in a hospital and part of her face is gone. Together with her parents she accepts getting a face transplant; the many pills and routines that will become part of her life FOREVER. It is during this time, summer and school is out, that I really started not liking Maisie. She did/did not want to see her boyfriend (who she thought about ALL the time) and best friend. She withdrew further and further, became insolent, angry, and lashed out at her parents and friends. It is was only in the final part of the book (I thought it should have happened much sooner) that Maisie joins a therapy support group- BOY did she need it; that she finally started coming around, figuring things out (lots of discussion) with her support friends, then slowly with her best friend and even slower with her ex-boyfriend and I really thought Maisie was a good person once again like she was at the beginning of the book. Teens will love this book, but I wished Maisie had sought out help MUCH sooner, thankfully she had tight, loyal friends.


View all my reviews



Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

2016-03-20T20:15:24.000Z

(image) Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I read this graphic novel as part of The Hub Challenge and March's #YearofYA twitter chat… (image) Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this graphic novel as part of The Hub Challenge and March's #YearofYA twitter chat topic of graphic novels. Astrid is a normal, likable 12 year old with an awesome best friend, Nicole. On one of her mom's ECE's (Evening of Cultural Enlightenment) Astrid and Nicole to a roller skating derby. Astrid is hooked, wants to learn more and signs up for summer camp. It is around this time things with Nicole begin to shift, Astrid begins to lie to her mom about many things, and Astrid begins to "awaken" with her new found sport, friends and competition. Victoria Jamieson did such a great job with the characters, teaching me ALL about roller derby, and each illustration and pane did a spectacular job of moving the plot along, sharing Astrid's ups & downs with roller derby and showing Astrid's insecurities, anxieties and complexities. I loved all the crazy player names and Astrid's growth as a player and friend, highly recommended!


View all my reviews



Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

2016-03-18T17:33:58.000Z

(image) Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman


My rating:

(image) Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I listened to this spectacular audiobook as part of The Hub Challenge and for a virtual book chat with the #2jennsbookclub. Having read the book first on my kindle, it was a real treat to listen to Michael Curran-Dorsano's narration! He had the timing, the voices, and Caden's thoughts down in his flawless delivery! Caden's descent into schizophrenia came alive with the spot on narration and the dive of Caden to Challenger Deep, his day by day recovery and self-realization about his illness will have teens and adults wanting to read & learn more.



View all my reviews




A Silent Voice Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima

2016-03-18T17:18:51.000Z

(image) A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Ooima

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I read this manga as part of the Hub Challenge; I normally read… (image) A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Ooima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this manga as part of the Hub Challenge; I normally read graphic novels & love them, but I have to admit, I found it difficult at times to follow this book on bullying. The black & white illustrations were good but there was not much dialogue and I couldn't get enough information on the characters, thoughts and movement forward of the story line. I am going to read the next 2 in the series since they are also on The Hub Challenge and will let you know what I think.


View all my reviews



Pushing the Limits (#1) by Katie McGarry

2016-03-12T18:30:00.000Z

(image) Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I had this book on my TBR shelf forever, because I read other Pushing the Limits books before I read this one, which is #1 in the series. I also made this series (and author) a FAVORITE because I…

(image) Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had this book on my TBR shelf forever, because I read other Pushing the Limits books before I read this one, which is #1 in the series. I also made this series (and author) a FAVORITE because I can't put them down- reluctant readers, guys and girls will LOVE these books- they move fast and furious, lots of drama and yearning, fights, secrets and lies- what more could you want! In this book, Echo is a "broken" girl just looking to go back to normal- before her family was shattered by so many events. She was once popular, dating the jock, loving life - now she can't remember a life altering event, has mandated therapy sessions, has to tutor bad boy, foster child Noah Hutchins. Noah has lots of problems too and it is these issues that have them conspiring to get some much needed secret information in the counselor's files at school. I loved the build-up in their friendship, the snarky comments, the increasing love interest, and the drama of everyday high school and home life. I read the book after this FIRST but it did not stop me from turning those pages at all hours of the night or wee early morning. I am now going to make sure I read every book by Katie McGarry because they are just so real, teens will see themselves in Noah, Echo, their friends or they will learn a little bit more about themselves from this world of riveting world of angst, love, and loss. If you like Simone Eckeles, Perfect Chemistry series, you will LOVE Pushing the Limits, highly recommended.


View all my reviews




Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

2016-03-09T23:38:26.000Z

(image) Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I read this fairy tale as part of the Hub Challenge and Dashti, the… (image) Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this fairy tale as part of the Hub Challenge and Dashti, the servant girl of Lady Saren is the protagonist who stole my heart. She was down to earth, loyal, loved animals, and used music as a way to heal. Saren & Dashti are sealed in a tower for 7 years by Saren's father because she refuses to marry this evil man, Khasar. As they settle in, Khan Tegus is the ruler Lady Saren promised herself to and as he sneaks & visits them, Saren makes Dashti talk to Tegus as Lady Saren. This arrangement is uncomfortable to Dashti but she took and oath to obey her Lady and she continues to do what Lady Saren does throughout the story. What an engrossing tale Shannon Hale weaves, complete with animals Dashti & Saren love and depend on. The ending was my favorite part! Highly recommended for those who enjoy fairy tales and retellings and great storytelling.


View all my reviews



ShadowShaper by Daniel Jose Older

2016-03-09T13:02:07.000Z

(image) Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I read this book as part of The Top 10 Best Fiction of Young Adults for the Hub Challenge… (image) Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book as part of The Top 10 Best Fiction of Young Adults for the Hub Challenge and I finished in 2 days. Sierra Santiago's voice, personality, spirit grabbed me from page 1- she is from Brooklyn, a muralist, and she is noticing the murals around Bed-Stuy are changing, get less distinct, and she even sees one tear drop out of a person's eye on the mural! What is up? Daniel Jose Older has written a book that is diverse, funny, magical, mystical, and urban - from Sierra's family, friends and community- the reader is treated to a book that tells a story about a teen protagonist you will not soon forget. Not only do we have Sierra's world of painting and friends but the reader is treated to magic, evil monsters, shadowshaping, and a girl who will stop at nothing to figure it all out. Highly recommended!


View all my reviews



The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

2016-03-05T21:37:06.000Z

(image) The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group and Henry… (image) The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group and Henry Holt and Co. for providing an advance copy of The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry. Mysteries by April Henry were always read and enjoyed by my students in my library. The Girl I Used To Be is a thriller and a winner for teens. Olivia/Ariel is the calm, smart, determined protagonist who has been in foster care for too many years after the death of her mother at the hands of her father. Fast forward fourteen years and Olivia has returned to her home town and learns her father’s jawbone has been discovered. Olivia needs justice for her parents’ murders and begins clandestine sleuthing with Duncan, her old friend and neighbor, for clues to the real murderer. With methodical attention to detail and building suspense, Olivia hopes to find the murderer before the murderer realizes Olivia/Ariel has returned. Teen readers will relate to Olivia as a vulnerable teen, as a foster child whose life was not easy, and root for her as she searches for clues while keeping her identity a secret. Recommended for those who love mysteries and suspense and for the reluctant reader as well!


View all my reviews



Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso

2016-02-25T02:43:38.000Z

(image) Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Thank you to NetGalley and Flux Books for providing an advance copy of… (image) Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Flux Books for providing an advance copy of Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso. Anne’s parents have died in a car crash and as she goes to live with her aunt and uncle, she meets new friends. Having a locker next to handsome, kind, considerate Blake seems to be just what Anne needs in her new school. It seems Blake and Anne have pain and grief in common; Blake’s girlfriend, Cara drowned during the summer and it is these shared tragedies that pull them quickly into a relationship. But as Anne grows closer to Blake, with new friends Melanie, Lauren, Garrett, and Jamie- questions and accusations about Cara’s death prompt unease for Anne. What will the future hold for Anne and Blake? Teens will keep turning the pages as this plausible thriller unfolds. This book has all the elements – high school drama, romance, lies, mystery, and death. Recommended.


View all my reviews



The Selection by Kiera Cass

2016-02-19T00:10:01.000Z

(image) The Selection by Kiera Cass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



So many of my students raved about this book, I can't believe it took me so long to read/listen to… (image) The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So many of my students raved about this book, I can't believe it took me so long to read/listen to this book. I LOVED IT! Now I can't wait to listen to the 2dn book in the series. How would you feel if you were America Singer, one of a bevy of young women who may be chosen by Prince Maxon to be his wife and queen? Rather than being happy, America is conflicted because she is in love (secretly) with Maxon who is a member of a lower cast. With lots of drama, action, and heart pounding romance, you will fall in love with America, her world, and the contest known as The Selection.


View all my reviews



Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

2016-02-19T00:09:24.000Z

(image) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


My rating:

(image) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read this as part of The Hub Reading Challenge (Top 10 Best Fiction) and oh this this series one I am going to enjoy- I didn't even realize I was at the end of the book. Talk about a cliff hanger ending, I could not believe it yet I am now hanging by a thread imaging Leigh Bardugo's next book---hurry up. I loved everything about this book; the characters with bigger than life personalities- Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, and Matthias were oh so perfect and oh so fallible (I fell in love with them all); the settings of Ketterdam and Ferjda (The Ice Court) were mesmerizing and the thrilling plot with Kaz's crew going after a bad guy who makes a drug that is addicting and dangerous ---while so many, many things could go wrong had my heart racing and turning pages furiously. This is definitely a favorite series for me and since I have never read Bardugo's Grisha books---I am definitely going to now! Addicting is all I can say about this fantastic book I am going to be thinking about for quite a while. I can't stop gushing; a must read!






The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

2016-02-19T00:08:40.000Z

(image) The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This book took… (image) The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book took me on many highs (his relationship with Rusty) and many lows (hiding in a hospital because he blames himself for his parents deaths). Andrew is a teen who is concealing so many things from everyone, including himself. He is gifted with pen and writes/illustrates a story about Patient F (who is really him). He has made many friends in the hospital, both staff and patients and it is his interactions with all of these people, especially Father Mike, Lexi, and Trevor that resonated most deeply with me. As he runs from himself, he learns so many things from everyone he meets in the hospital, and we are left to wonder, will Drew ever leave the hospital and what will he find in the real world?


View all my reviews



Half Wild by Sally Green

2016-02-19T00:07:40.000Z

(image) Half Wild by Sally  Green


My rating:

(image) Half Wild by Sally  Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I listened to this book as part of the 2016 Hub Challenge Top 10 Amazing Audiobooks. OMG, Carl Prekopp's narration of this amazing audiobook was killer. I could not stop listening to Nathan, half white witch & half black witch, as he grows older, receives his wishes from his father, feared black witch, Marcus, searches for his love, Annaliese, and revels in his tentative relationship with Gabriel (who is in love with Nathan). This is part 2 of the Half Bad series by Sally Green and it is just as riveting as the first book!!! With a cliffhanger for an ending, I can't wait for the 3rd book in this series.



View all my reviews




Girl at War by Sara Novic

2016-02-19T00:06:59.000Z

(image) Girl at War by Sara Nović

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I listened to this awesome book narrated by the mesmerizing, Julia Whalen, as part of The Hub Challenge.… (image) Girl at War by Sara Nović
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this awesome book narrated by the mesmerizing, Julia Whalen, as part of The Hub Challenge. This historical fiction tale tells the harrowing effects of war on individuals, family, the world at large. Ana is a 10 year old living in Zagreb, Croatia when the Serbo Croatian War decimates her world and family. As Ana and her parents, ferry her very ill little sister to doctors who will get her to the US for the proper medical attention, Serbs at a blockade stop everyone on the road, march them to an isolated area, and destroy Ana's world. What I really liked about this book was the way the chapters were set up. First the reader sees Ana's carefree world become one of suspicion, violence and genocide. The next chapter, Somnambulist, finds Ana in college in New York and it is 10 years later. Ana has found her sister and been adopted by the foster family who cared for Rachel (Rahella is her Croat name). In school Ana tells everyone she was born in the US, never speaking about her life during the war. The next chapter, Safe House, is when she is asked to speak at the United Nations and Ana speaks about the war and being a child soldier. The final chapter, Echoed by the Trees, has Ana returning to Zagreb to find out about remanining friends & family and making peace with what happened to her family those many horrorfic years previously. What a powerful story told through the eyes of an innocent child who is devastated by the war but lives to tell about its effects on her and everyone else around her, highly recommended!


View all my reviews



Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

2016-02-07T00:39:02.000Z

(image) Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have… (image) Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith books; she has a great way with getting guys and girls together and weaving heartfelt romances in many ways. Clare and Aidan have been together for the past two years and now it is the night before they leave for college and some decisions have to be made - break up or stay together. At first I was not to sure I wanted to read this because quite frankly it seemed trivial (especially with all the heavy topic books I have been reading) but I love Smith's books and I grew to love Clare and Aiden, their friends, and their last two years as a couple who "dove" one another (you have to read the book). Aiden melted my heart with his steadfast love for Clare. Clare was a little too meticulous about their final night and revisiting special highlights, all the while being convinced they were breaking up. But I rooted for Clare and I was not disappointed! The ending is tremendous.


View all my reviews



The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly bu Stephanie Oakes

2016-02-03T15:16:38.000Z

(image) The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Oh boy, this was such a tough, but… (image) The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this was such a tough, but amazingly awesome read! One of the honor books for The Morris Award, I am reading this as part of The 2016 Hub Challenge. I could not put it down. Minnow Bly has a normal life until her father becomes enamored of The Prophet, Kevin, and her family becomes a part of The Community Cult that takes off for the wilderness and indoctrination begins-listen to the Prophet and do whatever he says. But the book does not begin with this; Minnow is in juvie, and Dr. Wilson, a forensic psychologist is trying to find out what happened the night The Community caught fire. As the reader wades into Minnow's life, we see she is inquisitive and her many questions are hated by those in the cult, especially The Prophet. Her father is a right hand man to the Prophet; he has 4-5 wives and 20 some children. Her mother is distant, bearing many children, and not stable at all. Minnow is very protective of her younger sister, Constance. As life continues in the cult, Minnow begins to see/understand the craziness and her growing friendship with an outsider (Rymanite), Jude, also adds another dimension to the tumult in confined Minnow's life. Author Stephanie Oakes does a superb job of blending Minnow's life in The Community, in prison and with Jude, creating a kalidescope of torture, hurt, and eventual release toward rediscovery. A must read!


View all my reviews



The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

2016-01-24T18:24:59.000Z

(image) The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi


My rating:

(image) The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Loved this audiobook narrated awesomely by Almarie Guerra ; The Water Knife is an adult environmental cautionary tale about the effects of water drying up throughout the United States. Angel is a water knife from Las Vegas who ensures that his boss keeps the water coming for her "Arcolody" developments. But something is up and it will pit California, Arizona and Nevada against each other as they vie for the water that is dwindling to dust. As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, circumstances will bring Angel, Maria (poor and surviving by her wits) and Lucy (hard core journalist who writes about those who have died because of the vanishing water) together in a climax that will call into question their humanity and allegiances. Awesome, I loved Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker and this book was just as thrilling a read!



View all my reviews