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. :)