August 31, 2009

What Are You Reading Monday

This is a weekly meme hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog. Each week on Monday we tell what we read the previous week and what we plan to read in the upcoming week.

What I read last week

I went back to work last week, so I only had time to finish one book.  That book was Wake by Lisa McMann.  It's a story about a girl named Janie who is pulled into other people's dreams.  She can't stop it from happening or control it.  I found it to be a quick easy read, and I enjoyed it.

This week I plan to read

I received a copy of Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted, so I'll be reading that.  I've already started it, and so far I'm really enjoying it. 
I hope to read one other book this week. That book will be picked at random for me.  I've signed up for a random reading challenge, and it requires me to pick books at random.  I'm curious to see what I'll get!  See my post here about it.

August 30, 2009

Review: Savvy by Ingrid Law

Summary from Barnes and Noble

Mibs Beaumont is about to turn thirteen, which in the Beaumont family means her "savvy"-her special power-is about to strike. Her brothers' savvies let them create hurricanes and spark electricity, but Mibs has yet to learn what her savvy is. Then, two days before her birthday, her father is in a terrible car accident. He is sent to a hospital two hours from their isolated small town, and Mibs determines that she must get there, adamant that her savvy is going to help save him. She ends up on a traveling bible salesman's pink bus with all her siblings and the preacher's children, including the preacher's son, Will, who has a crush on her. The story chronicles the ups and downs of their journey to the hospital-where, in the end, Mibs's savvy (she can hear the thoughts and feelings of people with ink on their skin) helps her hear Poppa's tattoo speak and, ultimately, save his life.

Ok I'll be honest - at first I only read this book because it was a Newbery Honor book, and I had shown it to my students so I thought I'd better read it.  I wasn't sure I'd really enjoy it.  Sometimes (well a lot of times) Newberry books aren't really for me.  I could NOT have been more wrong!  This was the sweetest book, and I fell in love with all the characters -the bus driver, the lady they give a ride to, Mibs's youngest brother who doesn't speak and Will the preacher's son.  All of them dug themselves into my heart. I was wishing I could be on the bus with them. But most of all I wanted to meet Mibs. She's a strong determined young lady that won't quit.

Along with this being a sweet story of a young girl growing up, it's also funny.  I did literally LOL (yes!) at points in the book - especially when Mibs's savvy "speaks" up! I didn't expect that at all.

The ending, when she finally reaches her destination,  is a mix of happiness and sadness, and I wouldn't have wanted it anyother way. The book ended just as it should have. 

Final thought - I am so glad I read this book.  It will be one I cherish.  Read it - it's an absolutely wonderful book!

Book Give-Away at Bookworming in the 21st Century

Hey everyone Kristen over at Bookworming in the 21st Century has a 300th follower book give-away going on and it's a good one! Three lucky people will be winners! Get over there and check it out - and check out the rest of her blog too!

The contest is here.

August 29, 2009

I won!

Hey everyone the blog Life's A Story had a give-away/contest for Prophecy of the Sisters.  You had to create a mark and send in a picture of it.  I won!  The link is here to see it and to check out her blog.  Thanks Angel for this great give-away!

Random Reading Challenge

I came across a reading challenge hosted by Caribous Mom and thought it wold be a fun one to join.  I liked that it forced me to read books I might be putting off reading.  And I also liked that it was fairly simple and worked with books already in my TBR (to be read) pile. 

Go here to see the full description of the challenge or to sign up yourself! Below is a brief summary.

Pick a random number of books from your physical and virtual TBR pile.  Assign each book a number.  Go to the random number generator here and have it pick which book you read.  Read it. Repeat. It's that simple!  I'll be reviewing all the books I read and keeping you updated on my progress.  I've signed up for the 12 book challenge, so they'll be lots to review.

Ok - time to get reading!

"World Of" Weekend Meme

Hey everyone. Time for the weekend meme I'm hosting. Hoping for more participation this week ;)

"World Of" Weekend
Tell if you would like to live in the world of the book you're currently reading. Would it be fun? Would it be dangerous? Who would you most like to meet in that world? What would take some getting use to? Tell us anything! Be sure to include the author, and make sure to link back :)

 This week I read Wake by Lisa McMann.  The general world Janie lives in isn't different from my own BUT to live it as Janie would be hard!  Janie is sucked unwillingly into other people's dreams.  I would not want to live with that!  It would be horrible to have no control over this - to be living your life one moment, and then being forced into a world you can't control the next.  No thank you. 

There would be two good things about living as Janie. 
  1. She's a very smart girl that knows how to take care of herself. 
  2. Seeing Cabel.  I'm pretty good at picturing characters, but it would always be cool to see them in real life. Cabel is one I'd like to see for real.

Ok those are my thoughts - your turn!

August 28, 2009

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading. Make sure to check out what other bloggers are finding this Friday.

What great books did you hear about / discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

This Friday I'm sharing Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
I found this book while reading another bloggers review.  It looks very good!

Summary taken from Barnes and Noble
When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. A little boy who'd been Matt's friend. And Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.
Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad-Justin, Wolf, and Charlene-the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He's counting on his buddies to help find out the truth. But in combat, there is no black and white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

Book Blogger Appriciation Week

Book Blogger Appreciation week will be September 14-18

Book Blogger Appreciation was started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.
The first Book Blogger Appreciation was observed in the fall of 2008 and occurs every September. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. Book Bloggers are encouraged to register their participation for inclusion in a database of book bloggers.

I'm a new blogger so here's some things about me!

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?

There has been several.  One has been finding this wonderful community of fellow readers and bloggers.  They are an amazing wealth of knowledge and excitement about books.  I have found so many new books to read, and fantastic resources to use!  I'm a 7th grade English teacher, so both of these are needed for my job.

The other highlight has been connecting with authors.  That has been fun and exciting.  It amazes me how kind and open some authors can be - willing to connect with readers on a personal level. I know they are busy, but still they'll take a minute to respond.  I'm so excited to be able to bring these contacts back to my students and use them to motivate their reading!

2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?

The following bloggers have either helped me with all my questions or just have fantastic blogs that I aspire to be like!  Thanks!!

Bookworming in the 21st Century
Chick Lit Teens
WORD for Teens
Korianne Speaks
The Story Siren

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?

I'd like to know what was the best thing you learned from participating in BBAW?

Make sure to go to the BBAW website for more bloggers!

Review: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

First I have to tell you that this is my first ARC (advanced readers copy), so it will always hold a special place in my heart. 

On with the review! I enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, and I definately came to care about them and what happened.  I expected a love story and there was one - a good one.  But within the love story there was a mystery that I didn't expect!  I knew Nora would wonder about Patch and who he was, but I didn't know there would be a full other mystery.  Nora is being followed, watched and attacked, but we don't know who is doing this.  Is it Patch, someone from his past or someone entirely different?  This mystery drives the plot as much as the connection between Patch and Nora.  It adds a layer of excitement that made a fuller more well rounded story.  I won't say what happens to Nora and Patch but it was not what I expected!  My only one complaint about the story was the ending.  It wasn't bad - but I felt a little empty.  I think I wanted more so reaching the last page was a let down because there wasn't more, and I WANTED MORE! One more chapter would've helped.   I guess I can hope for a sequel right????

Last thought - Read it! You'll enjoy it!

Release date:  Oct. 13, 2009

Lexile: 640

August 27, 2009

Hush Hush Trailer

Hey everyone the trailer for Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick is out. I just read my ARC copy of it, and really enjoyed it.  I should have my review of it up tomorrow (I'm back at work, so time is limited!)

I'm linking you to The Book Butterfly's blog because she has the trailer and summery done up real well - just scroll down and you'll find it.  This also lets you see  her awesome blog as well! Check it out because she's got some great things happening.

August 26, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Ghost in the Machine (Skeleton Creek Series) by Patrick Carman
Summary from Barnes and Noble
Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek...and Ryan and Sarah are trying to find out why. Ryan writes down everything in his journal, and Sarah records everything on her videocam. The two move deeper into the mystery they've uncovered, determined to discover the secrets buried in Skeleton Creek, in the conclusion to Patrick Carman's thrilling series.
In this groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts -- Ryan's text in the book, and Sarah's videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

I've read the first book in the series - Skeleton Creek - and did both the reading and the videos.  It was a neat way to read a book.  I had downloaded the videos onto my iPod as podcasts, so it was easy to watch.  The first book left off in a HUGE cliffhanger, so I really need to know what happened. 

Released October 1st.  Click here for the Barnes and Noble listing.

August 25, 2009

Teens Vote for the "Teens' Top Ten"

Voting for the 2009 Teens' Top Ten is now open! Teens can vote for up to three of their favorite titles from the 2009 nominees. Click this link to vote through Sept. 18. Winners will be announced during Teen Read Week in a webcast.
About The Teens' Top Ten (taken from the ALA website)
Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote right here, online, anytime between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18; the winners will be announced in a webcast featuring WWE Superstars and Divas during Teen Read Week.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
  • Grab your current read  
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)  
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's mine:
I'm reading Wake by Lisa McMann
"His eyes narrow as they search her face.  She can see his eyes are puzzled.  His face flushes slightly, but she's not sure why."  (gave you a bonus sentence)


August 24, 2009

Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary from Barnes and Noble

When an asteroid hits the moon, Miranda must learn to survive the unimaginable . . .  (short enough for ya?)

If you want a book that sticks with you - this is it.  I had a hard time leaving the world of the book behind.  As the short summary says - an asteroid hits the moon.  This causes the moon to move closer to Earth.  Now if you know your science at all, you'll realize that means big changes for Earth and all that live there.  The main character is Miranda a 16 year old girl.  What you read is what she writes in her journal.  At points the story was a hard to read because life on Earth becomes very difficult, and Miranda holds nothing back.  The difficulties she writes about carried into my own life - I'd find myself thinking about resources I waste and things I take for granted.  It even got to the point that when we had rain for a day, I kept thinking in terms of the book - like the moon really had moved closer!  It was somewhat unsettling, but it made the story more affective. 

This is a serious book, so if you're looking for something light hearted or action packed - you might want to try something else.  But if you're wondering what might happen if the earth's was environment was changed - definately give it a try.  There is a companion book The Dead and the Gone, and there will be a third book that ties the two together titled This World We Live In.  There is even a blog dedicated to it.  Check it out. I know I WILL be reading the other two books.  I have to know what happens!

Lexile:  770

No More Rating Scale

After some thought I have decided to do away with my rating/grading scale.  I am reviewing books first and foremost for my students.  Never in class when I've done book reviews have I given a book a rating or grade.  I've always just talked about what was good about the book and why they might or might not want to read it.  I think I'll stick with that here.  I fear that giving a book a grade will cause a student to not read it simply because they don't want to read a book given a C or something.  To me that would be the worst thing that could happen!  My main goal is to get kids reading.  Anything else is icing on the cake. 

Are You Living Your Five?

Today I learned about a new movement started by 4 amazing young adult authors.  It's all about finding what you are passionate about and then living with that as your focus.  I, of course, cannot explain it as well as those ladies do, so check out Living Your Five to see what is going on.  And then I encourage you to think about what you want the focus of your life to be.  I know I will be!

What Are You Reading Monday

This is a weekly meme hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.  Each week on Monday we tell what we read the previous week and what we plan to read in the upcoming week.

Last week I finished two books:

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  Its about life after the moon is knocked off its orbit and world on earth is thrown in to chaos.  Very good book.  I'll be writing a review soon.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick  Wow what  book!  I got the ARC from Barnes and Noble.  I'll be writing a review soon too!

This week I plan to read:

I start back to work so I'll be busy.  I'm hoping to start  PEEPS by Scott Westerfeld.

August 22, 2009

Weekend MEME

Hi everyone.  I thought I'd host a weekly - weekend - meme!  This one's for the weekend so you have lots of time to participate.  If you're like me weekends are busy!

"World of" Weekend

Tell if you would like to live in the world of the book you're currently reading.  Would it be fun?  Would it be dangerous?  Who would you most like to meet in that world?  What would take some getting use to?  Tell us anything! Be sure to include the author.  Make sure to link back :)

Here's my World of Weekend.
I just finished Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  I would NOT like to live in this world.  An astroid hits the moon pushing it off orbit, and this causes problems on earth.  It would be a scary worlds to be in, and I'm glad I don't have to experience first hand.  The ONLY thing I would like to see from that world is how the moon looks in the sky after it's hit.  It's suppose to be huge, and that would be kinda cool to see.
Ok - your turn! 

P.S.  I'm working on getting a fun graphic for this.

August 20, 2009

My first ARC! Hush Hush

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Review: 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Summary from Barnes and Noble

Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.


The idea of this book is cool. I mean who wouldn't love to find 99 doors in a wall that lead to different places - some real some not. That would be the coolest! But, unfortunately, I wasn't wowed by the story. It seemed underdeveloped - touching on beginnings of stories behind the doors but not telling enough to clarify anything. Clearly it is was setting up for the sequel. The ending left lots of unanswered questions and lots of unknowns. Was a character good or bad? Where was Henry from? Why was Henry getting letters telling him he had done something wrong? How were the doors created? And more.

Why you might like the book:

If you like mystery and suspense with some magic thrown in you will probably enjoy this story. And definitely if you like mysteries and trying to solve them you should should read it! You'll be given a true mystery - one that will carry you into the whole series.

Grade C+
Lexile 650

Similar books: Tunnels, City of Ember

August 19, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to click and find out what everyone else is waiting on!

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko.
This is a sequel to Al capone Does My Shirts.
This is about a boy, Moose, who moves with his family to Alcatraz for his father's job. Yes they live on the island with other families! It's a story of Moose and his sister, who has austism. In the first book Moose wrote a letter to Al Capone, who is being held on the island, asking for help. Little did he know, he owes Al a favor now!

Release date: September 8th

August 18, 2009

Huge Book Give-Away!

Go here now! They are giving away books to 3 different people. Winners get to choose from 20 books.

First winner gets to pick 7
Second winner gets to pick 3
Third winner gets to pick 1

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of
Should Be Reading
. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Mine is:

I forced myself to look at the moon. I think I was afraid I'd see it had grown even bigger, that it really was lumbering its way to earth to crush us all to death.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Followe this link to see more!

August 17, 2009

And this ones for the girls - Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Ok so if Mudville was for the boys. Shiver is for the girls. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Shiver from other book bloggers. So much so that I made a special trip to Barnes and Noble just to get it. It was well worth it! In short, this is a love story. I'm not real big on pure love stories but this is a love story with a twist. Grace and Sam began caring for each other 6 years ago, but they never spoke. Now they are together but they are living on borrowed time; time that is running out. The fight against time was what kept me reading. I had to see how, or if, they were able to win in the end.

What I liked best: how the story switched back and forth from Sam and Grace's viewpoints. This allows the reader to gain a better understanding of each character and in turn begin to care about them both. That is important because a good book for me has characters that I care about and characters that become real. Sam and Grace became real. I could imagine them as people I might know. I felt the frustration and fear and happiness they felt. It was not difficult to believe in them and their story. Now that the book is over, I miss them!

I also liked the quietness of this book. Sometimes it felt like it was almost told in a whisper. As if speaking too loud would break the spell. In hushed tones Maggie Stiefvater created a world full of description that pulled you in and let you become a part of it. A good example of this is when Sam takes Grace to a candy shop and has her close her eyes and smell. The description of what she smells followed by the description of their time there is perfect. It was a quiet scene that pulled the read straight into that place and brought it all quietly alive. This happens again and again up until the last scene.

Grade A-

Lexile 740

Similar books: Twilight and Need

PS - forgot! My daughter's name is Maggie so of course I thought the author rocked from the beginning :)

What I'm Reading Monday

I'm currently reading 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Last week I read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (look for review today!)

Click here to see other people's list!

Win One of Three New Books

Go here for a chance to win one of these books

The Body Finder
Ghost Huntress: The Guidance.

August 16, 2009

~~~~~Weekend Wow~~~~~

Welcome to a new feature on the O.W.L. Blog called Weekend Wows. Each weekend I'll feature a book I'm excited about - one that I think could WOW me. This will be a book that was just released or will be released in the upcoming week. OR I'll post some "WOW" news in the world of books. And who knows - if it's a good week I may post both!

My first Weekend Wow pick is Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. Below is a summary of the book from the publisher.

Sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe has just recently lost her father, leaving her parentless. But when a strange mark appears on her wrist, she realizes she is being branded with much more than her newfound title of orphan. Lia and her twin sister Alice are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. Lia hides this discovery from Alice and even from her beloved James, but to escape from the burden this secret bestows she must end the prophecy-before her sister. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the mark on her wrist, the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her, and the impact the resolution of the prophecy could have.

This book just sound intriguing. I have a sister, so any book that involves the relationship between sisters is always interesting to me. I've also heard several other book bloggers talk about the story, and they've been giving it good reviews. Hopefully I'll be able to read it soon!

Wow so many books!

Hey everyone - so many times book give-aways are only for 1 maybe 2 books but here's one for many more. How many more? 14!!!! Plus some other sweet stuff. Go enter! Good luck!

August 13, 2009

Kids' Indie Next List

As the website puts it "Inspired Recommendations for Kids From Indie Booksellers". Make sure to click on the links for the lists for ages 4-8, 9-12, teens and the top 10. There are some awesome books listed that have been receiving much buzz. I'm excited to read many of them.

New book :)

New book to add to the "wanna read" pile :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

August 9, 2009

Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta

Welcome to Moundville, where it’s been raining for longer than Roy McGuire has been alive. Most people say the town is cursed—right in the middle of their big baseball game against rival town Sinister Bend, black clouds crept across the sky and it started to rain. That was 22 years ago . . . and it’s still pouring.

Baseball camp is over, and Roy knows he’s in for a dreary, soggy summer. But when he returns home, he finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch. As if this isn’t weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis’s arrival, the sun comes out. No one can explain why the rain has finally stopped, but as far as Roy’s concerned, it’s time to play some baseball. It’s time to get a Moundville team together and finish what was started 22 years ago. It’s time for a rematch.

One of the biggest struggles I have is finding good books for middle school boys. "Girl" books are everywhere. There are countless blogs that review pretty much only girl books. Ones that review mostly boy books? ummm, I'm still looking. But in Mudville I have found a boy's book that I can recommend 110%. Yes it's a story about baseball (ask me how much I learned about the depth of the communication between the catcher and pitcher or the strategy of baseball!) but it's also a story about the one moment that defines you - that sets you on the path to what kind of person you will be. The main character Roy has such a moment when facing the pitcher in a game 22 years delayed.

What I liked most - Roy's pure love of the game. I am not a follower of baseball, but Roy makes me want to become one! His love and understanding of the game takes a bunch of kids that don't always know which way to run around the bases and makes them a team. He coaches them. Helps set up the field. Encourages them when they want to quit. And keeps them going when the entire town is watching. (Did I mention he's only 12?) They are underdogs in every sense of the word - but Roy's unfailing determination won't let them believe it - and you won't believe it either.

Grade A+!!!!!
Lexile 680

Similar Books: Summer Ball, Heat, The Boy Who Saved Baseball

August 7, 2009

Great Give Away!

Do you never have enough money to spend on books? Well here's a give away to win a $100 Barnes and Noble giftcard! What could be better???