Thursday, June 14, 2012

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

This book is the account of a almost 30 year old man who wants to go on a world tour. So he doesn't seem selfish he decides to "volunteer" somewhere first, you know be humanitarian and all, it's helps get girls. This is how Conor Grennan ends up at an orphanage in war torn Nepal and how his life is changed forever.

This story is well written and made me both laugh and cry. Mr. Grennan is so honest with his thoughts that you know he is a real person. The love he develops for these children and the quest he undertakes is awe inspiring. If I was 20 yrs younger and had the money to travel I would love to do something like this. Isn't that how most of us are though, "if..." well he did and still does help the children of Nepal.

Here is the link to the group he started Next Generation Nepal

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

This historical fiction tells the story of 13 year old Samuel who lives with his family in the wilderness of Western Pennsylvania. There has been talk of a war between the colonies and the British but it is too far away. News is old by the time it reaches the wilds and why would the fighting come this far out to a bunch of farmers and homesteaders?

Samuel loves the woods. He is almost a part of them. One day out hunting he sees smoke and knows something is wrong. The devastation he returns to leaves him in shock. His home and family are gone but he somehow knows his parents are alive and he plans to rescue them.

The journey he goes on and the people he meet along the way help tell a different version of the American Revolution.

Paulsen has inserted historical facts in between the chapters that can make this book a very good teaching tool. It has a high interest and information factor.

I Will Save You by Matt de la Pena

Kidd has lost everything in traumatic fashion. He does not fit in anywhere. When he leaves the group home he is in he finds his way to the beach and a job in a campground.

Here he meets Olivia, a girl from the "right" side of the tracks. He falls for her and wants to protect her but she is keeping a secret from him.

In comes Devon, Kidd's "best friend" from the group home. He has issues to say the least and fears nothing least of all death. Kidd wants to escape Devon but Devon decides to go after the thing Kidd cares about most. Can he save everyone? Can he save himself?

This book has a good story to tell and in it's own way is a good mystery with turns you don't see coming. It is also a coming of age novel for the kids who may not have the perfect lives that everyone thinks.

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Even people who seem to have Perfect lives don't. This is what Isabelle finds out. After the death of her father Isabelle, her mother and her sister "Ape Face" are left to pick up the pieces. This is kinda hard when no one will acknowledge that their world has fallen apart.

When Ape Face catches Isabelle in the bathroom after a meal and "rats" on her to mom. Isabelle is sent to "group". To her surprise the most popular girl in school is there as well.

As they keep each others secret they become friends. Both have hidden issues in their family. How the deal with them and each other could mean life or death.

I recommend this book, especially to young girls struggling with their identity and bigger issues. It shows you that you aren't the only one.

Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

 This book won the Sunshine State Reader's award and with good reason, it's incredible!!! I recommend this book to ALL educators because it give you a new perspective.

Melody has a photographic memory, she sees sounds as color and she loves learning new things. Sounds like a gifted child to me but no one knows this because Melody is disabled and unable to communicate.

The story is told by Melody so you can feel her frustration. You want to scream at the teacher who treats her like she is dumb for her. You cheer for her when she has her victories. The issue of bullying comes up when she starts "regular" classes. As we know kids can be mean and petty. Melody and her family learn this in a big way but it does not stop her.

This inspirational story should be read by everyone in my opinion. Kudos to Mrs. Draper for giving us a new insight.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ummm...kinda behind

Sorry, due to the end of the school year I fell a bit behind. I will be working hard this week to catch up. I think I only have 10-12 books to add. :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Peace, Locomotion

This is the perfect book for the reluctant reader. The voice that Woodson uses is so real. It is all written in the form of letters that LoCoMotion is writing to his younger sister in a different foster home. He is doing this because he is the "rememberer". It shows the trials and tribulations of our younger generation.

Took me less than a day to read.

Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin is a coming of age novel after the zombie apocalypse. Benny is too young to really remember First Night but believes his older brother Tom is a coward for not saving their parents.

Problem is everyone else thinks Tom is a hero and now that Benny has to get a job wants him to join the "family business" which happens to be zombie hunting. Benny wants nothing to do with this, he prefers to hear the stories of daring from the bounty hunters he looks up to. Why would he want to join his weak cowardly brother?

Benny has a lot to learn about life, death, and the living dead. Also sometimes the monsters we know about aren't as scary as the the ones we do not see.

I generally do not like zombie books. They give me nightmares. But I plan to read all the books on the Florida Teen Reads list for this year, so I am going out of my comfort zone. Or so I thought. I really enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed as is the setting. It is almost like an old wild west story. Zombies are in this book but they aren't the main focus. In fact seeing them through Tom and Benny's eyes you almost begin to get a compassion for them as you learn that some humans are worse than zoms.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This book will appeal to the people who love The Hunger Games. I mean the book, not the movie by the way. Books are always better.

It is another dystopian fiction but unlike the genre of "paranormal romance" this genre is not all alike.

This first book in a trilogy (woohoo!!!) revolves around the main character, Beatrice, and the choices she must make. Choices that change her life. In this world everyone is divided into factions according to their character and beliefs. The key is they get to choose. The choice will decide who you will become and what you will believe, at least outwardly. Society was made this way to eliminate greed and corruption. The question is really will that work?  And if it can't what will happen?

Ok, so I finished this book on Sunday. It had been on my list for awhile but my budget did not allow it (or any hardcovers for that matter). I broke down and checked it out of the school library. It was incredible!!!!

The time traveling, soul searching of this book made it fun to read. The vintage pictures add so much because they make it seem real. In a way it answers the some questions about "monsters" in this world. I also really enjoyed the historic references.

The main character actually made me think about some of my students, past and present, who live with demons of their own that they do not fully understand.

Maybe I am a little weird but this book even made me wonder if it could be true.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Book review

I just finished reading The Angel of Death by Alane Ferguson last night. It was my sixty second book to complete this school year in a goal of 70.

The book is the sequel to The Christopher Killer and follows the same characters. Ferguson's main character. Cameron Mahoney, is a super smart young lady who usually relies on science rather than emotions. Because her uncanny ability to "read the dead" she has become her fathers assistant at the small coroners office. This does not make her many friends because most people think death is creepy.

This book starts with the weird death of Cammy's teacher. She helps investigate but has a lot on her plate dealing with family issues, friends, and if that was not complicated enough, boys. Cammy gives into her emotions in this book. This leads the reader through lots of twists and turns. If you like gore and vivid descriptions this is a good book for you. If you are a visual person and have a weak stomach, maybe not so much. It will definitely appeal to anyone who like CSI or those other crime shows and mysteries.

Feedback welcome!!!
My First Post

I am new to this whole blogging thing. I decided to start one about the books I read almost as a review thing. I read many different types of books but a large amount of YA fiction. I really avoid the new trend of "paranormal romance" though.