September 30, 2010

The Cybils and Me: I'll Be Judging!!!

I'm so very very excited to share that I will be a Round Two judge for the 2010 Middle Grade Fiction Panal!! I could not be more excited! Last year at this time I hadn't been blogging long, and started hearing about the Cybils.  I thought the award was super awesome and wondered how to get involved.  A year later and look at where I am! Now I know this will be a ton of work (I'm going to need to stockpile reviews for the blog ahead of time AND get my review reading done AND learn how t say no!), but I'm just so excited to be a part of this fanastic process that I don't care!

Here's a bit about the Cybils for those of you that may be goind "Cybils? What????"
(taken from the FAQ question page at the Cybils website.)

What's a Cybil?
The Cybils awards are given each year by bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles. Nominations open to the public on October 1st.
Can anyone nominate?
Yes, anyone may nominate one book per genre during the nomination period. We post an online form from Oct. 1-15 every year. Publishers, publicists, authors and illustrators may nominate books, as can teens, parents, random visitors ... well, anyone.
Which books are eligible?
Any books published between the end of one contest and start of another. For 2010, that means books released between Oct. 16, 2009 and Oct. 15, 2010.

For more answers to common questions about the Cybils check out their FAQ page.

Be sure to check out the Cybils Website for more informatin including how and when to nominate books!

And you can also follow the Cybils on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out the links below.

Ok now that you know about the Cybils, start thinking about what books you'll nominate.  Nominatios start

September 29, 2010

Birthday Giveaway

Hey all! Today is my birthday, and I am 40! Yes I said 40! Turning 40 does't bother me in the least. To celebrate I have a giveaway.

There will be three winners
The first prize winner will win $15 gift card to either Barnes and Noble, Amazon or Borders plus two books from the list below.
Second prize will win 2 books from the list below.
Third Prize will win 1 book from the list.

Giveaway details
Must fill out form!
Replies are awesome but won't count as entries EXCEPT FOR ONE! +1 entry for telling me, in a reply, a book you believe eveyone should read at some time.
Ends on October 14th
Must be a US resident
No PO Boxes
Winner must reply back to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be picked

Books to pick from:

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
Fallout by Elle Hopkn (ARC)
Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan (ARC)
White Cat by Holly Black (ARC)
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Kissing the Rain by Kevin Brooks
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni (ARC)
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex (ARC)
The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

September 28, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Book Review of How to Grow Up and Rule the World

Title: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Vordak the Incomprehensible
Author: Scott Seegert (aka Vordak!)
Publisher: EgmontUSA

From Goodreads
Slip on your acid-free gloves, make sure you have a duplicate copy of How to Grow Up and Rule the World (just in case something should happen to this one) and try to follow along as the incomparable, superior-in-all-ways Vordak the Incomprehensible teaches you a thing or two about villainy. Now you, too, can try (and fail) to attain Vordak's level of infamy.

From selecting the most dastardly name, to choosing the ideal henchmen, to engaging in witty repartee with disgustingly chipper superheroes, experienced supervillain Vordak the Incomprehensible guides readers step-by-step toward the ultimate goal of world domination (from his parents' basement in Trenton, New Jersey).

With chapter titles like "Bringing Out the Evil" and "Building a Top-Notch Evil Organization," numerous bold illustrations, and detailed quizzes to assess your level of dastardliness, this book provides everything necessary to rise above the masses, and then rub your ascent in their faces.

In return for this wealth of knowledge, Vordak requests nothing more than an honored place in the evil regime of he who achieves control of the world. (And, of course, the opportunity to assume command, should things not work out.)
My Review
What a fun, and informative, book! I mean how many times have I been thinking about ruling the world but not knowing where to start! Well Vordak has taken all the guess work out of it and given us a compete step-by-step guide to getting your dream of world domination going. 

I had this book sitting on my desk at school.  While my students were working I picked it up an read the first page. I actually burst out laughing! Quickly quieting myself I knew I had to share it with my students - especially after the odd looks I got.  At the end of the hour I read them the first page.  They wanted more!!! Not many books can hook an entire class of 7th graders that easy.  I told them it would be available as soon as I was done with it.  I know it'll be snatched up when I put it out on the shelf.

What I liked the best was the humor.  It was funny and funny is hard to do! (sorry Vordak but it was funny and, to make you happy, scary, really really scary!). The voice of Vordak rang through the whole thing.  He wrote it as if talking straight to you.  This is usually my least favorite form of writing, but for this book it definitely worked.  I also liked the questions inserted throughout the book by a supposed reader.  The voice of this person was great!  It was also fun to watch it change as the book went along and it became clearer and clearer what Vordak was like. 

There is one thing that may bother some older readers.  Vordak, of course, encourages the reader to become more and more evil.  You can't take over the world if you aren't evil! But sometimes, if you forget the fact the book is intended to be funny, the things Vordak suggests you do to be evil could be inappropriate.  Some may worry that kids will take the advice to heart.  I like to believe that kids are smart enough to know it's meant to be funny and over the top!

Final thought: You know we've all thought about ruling the world, so it's about time a book can help you plan
Best stick-with-you image: It wasn't an image; instead it was an explanation.  I love when Vordak explains why he chose "the Incomprehensible" to go with his name.  It just made me shake my head
Best for readers who: Like to laugh
Best for readers: 9+

Watch for my intervew of Vordak to be posted soon!

September 27, 2010

Michael Grant Author Signing

This past Friday night I had the chance to see Michael Grant author of the Gone series and The Magnificent 12. It was fantastic! I knew it was going to great when he just started chatting with the lady I was with (the media specialist at  my school) while we were walking around the store. Soon we sat down, and he just started to chat with us! He asked if there were any aspiring authors, and I admitted I was and that I had finished the rough draft of novel.  It was awesome because he gave me advice and talked to me like an author!

From there he talked a lot about how he got into writing and what he has written.  If you didn't know, he has had 150 books published! At the start of his career he did some ghost writing for such book series as Sweet Valley Twins!!! I loved those books growing up!  It was a part of the industry I hadn't heard a lot about before, so it was really interesting.

He wrote the Gone series after he told his wife (Katherine Applegate) about the idea.  She told him to stop everything else he was working on and write that!  It was the right thing to do.  Three books are currently out, Gone, Hunger and Lies and three more are yet to come out Plague and Light (and I can't remember the 3rd title!) Light is the last book in the series. 

What was also very interesting to hear about was his take on the covers.  He much more prefers the UK covers because they are ones that would appeal to boys better.  He thinks the US ones come across as a bit to girly and not really showing what the story is about.  Check out the UK vs the US ones below.  I definitely agree with him!

UK                                    US

Lastly he signed books for all of us and took pictures.  It was a great time, and I'm so glad I went!

Now remember I have a giveaway going on for a SIGNED copy of The Magnificent 12.  Fill out THIS FORM to enter.  It ends on Wednesday!

Signing my daughter's book.  She LOVES the Gone series.

This is all of us including the media specialist at my school

September 24, 2010

Friday's for the Guys: The Lab

Every Friday I highlight books and authors that are ones boys might really enjoy. I'm not saying girls wouldn't read these books, but they are clearly "guy" books.
This week I'm highlighting:
The Lab
By Jack Heath
With the popularity of the Alex Rider series, I think this would be another great sounding series to offer to boys.  It seems to have a bit of the same sound as the Rider series.  I like though, that it seems to have a bit more if a sinister twist to it - the main charater seems good, but also a bit more shady! I think it's something that would appeal to boys. 
To top that off, there is a sequel, Remote Control! Any time I can recommnd a book to a boy, it's a bonus when it has a sequel.
From Goodreads
Meet a 16-year-old superhuman: Agent Six of Hearts. He's the strongest, most effective agent in the Deck, a team of special agents fighting to uphold justice in a completely corrupt world. Six would be invincible if not for a deadly secret. He is the product of an illegal experiment by the Lab - a ruthless division of the corporation that controls his world. When the Deck begins to investigate the Lab, Six walks a tightrope between his two worlds, trying to keep his origin a secret.

But then he meets Kyntak, a boy whose past equals his own. As Six's life spirals out of control, he must face his most dangerous, thrilling mission yet.

Here's a "fanmade" trailer that I thought was pretty good :)

September 23, 2010

Book Review: Only the Good Spy Young

Title: Only the Good Spy Young
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

From Goodreads
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when she faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.
Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.
In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past....
My Review
You know how sometimes as a series goes along it starts to lose its steam and you wonder why you're still reading it?  Well that does NOT happen with the Gallagher Girl series.  It only seems to get better with each book.  This book picks up pretty much where the last book, Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover, left off.  From page one it doesn't take much for the action to start.  By page 12 Cammie was already running! And a few pages after that I once again didn't know who I should be trusting.  What I really liked what how little rehashing of the previous books this one did.  Sometimes when you read a book later in the series the first few chapters seem to just retell you what has been happening - something I find boring.  None of that here!

As Cammie resettles back into school she finds it to not be the safe haven she once had - yes it's safe, way safer than it's ever been, but to Cammie it no longer feels like home.  I think this really shows the story taking a turn and pushing into new territory instead of staying with the tried and true.  You can tell that Cammie is growing up and getting closer to being more independent.  I liked the changes I saw in her.  In the first book Cammie, even though she was training to be a world class spy, was sometimes awkward, shy and uncertain.  I saw less and less of that in this installment.  Many times Cammie took control without hesitating - something I was really happy to see. 

As far as the story goes - we find some answers in this book, but of course many remain unanswered.  I will say there were a few good surprises that I did not seeing coming.  One even made me gasp and say "no way!".  I'll be interested to see how that part turns out :) The ending, although wide open, is not unsatisfying.  I've always found with this series that each book ties up that part of the story well while opening more doors for Cammie to enter.  This one was no exception. 

One minor complaint was the lack of both Cammie's friends and mother in this book.  It felt like they all faded into the background some - especially her mother.  She barely seemed to be in the book.  Her friends play important roles, but some of their funness (if I can make up that word) was missing.  Maybe it was the change the story was taking, but I missed it.  I really missed Macey! She was always my favorite character beyond Cammie.  I hope she's in the next book more! This didn't hurt the book, just a personal preference.

Final Thoughts: It's still got me hooked, curious and wanting to know more
Best stick-with-you image: Falling through the air shaft
Best for readers who: are girls and like strong female characters and mystery
Best for ages: 11+

September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wed: A Long Walk to Water

This is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. In this post I talk about books yet to be released that I'm excited about OR already published book's I've seen that I'm really wanting to read. I also like to try and find books other bloggers aren't sharing so that more books are shared.

This week I'm waiting on:
A Long Walk to Water
by Linda Sue Park
Released: Nov 15, 2010
I think the summary says it all.  When I read it I knew it was something I was going to have to read! I just hope it turns out to be as good as it sounds!!!

From Goodreads
A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

September 21, 2010

Tween Tuesday Dead Frog on the Porch

Tween Tuesday was started over at Green Bean Teen Queen as away to hightlight awesome books for the 9-12 year old set. AKA Tweens. Any book highlighted on Tween Tuesday does count for the In the Middle Reading Challenge.

This week I'm highlighting:

Dead Frog on the Porch
by Jan Markley

Do you know one thing I think we more of in middle grade lit - good mysteries.  Throughout the year I teach my 7th graders about different genres. When I teach the mystery, I have to dig to find a lot of them.  So I was very happy to find this book!!! A fun sounding mystery.  I have a copy of the book, so watch a review very soon.  In the meantime be sure to check out Jan Markley's website!

Summary from her website
Kids can save the world – even if it is one frog at a time.

When twin sisters Cyd and Jane are propelled into an international plot involving evil scientists and giant genetically stretched frogs, the girls are in a suspenseful and hilarious race to save the frog kingdom.
Feeling bad after she accidentally stepped on her sister’s frog, Cyd gets swept up in Jane’s search for an answer to the mystery of the giant frogs. But first the twins must out-maneuver disbelieving police and their scientist mom who sides with the geneticists. Cyd and Jane use the Internet, a serum antidote, and good old-fashioned sleuthing to expose harm to the frog kingdom. In the process they discover the link between frogs, the environment and humanity. But will they catch the culprits or will giant frogs take over their city?

September 20, 2010

September 18, 2010

7's Up! First of the Year

Well I've got a new crop of 7th graders and I can't wait to share their thoughts about books and reading!
My hope this year is to add in guest reviews by them.  I think it would fantastic to hear their thoughts on books they've read.  I'll be introducing the idea to them this week. 

But to start off here are their debut thoughts about the new covers for the Artemis Fowl books. 

I showed them the new (left) and old (right) covers for the first book in the series

They definitely liked the new cover better. 

The vote was about 50 for the new and 25 for the old.

Reasons they liked the new one:
Seems better
More interesting

The reasons they gave for liking the old cover were better:
Because it looks like there's magic inside
It looks like a secret

I was surprised the old cover got that many votes because I've always found the old covers pretty boring for what is an action packed book.  I think the new covers are much more eye catching and tell about the story a bit more.  It's great, though, that some liked the old because then I don't have to get all the new covers just to get them to read the series :)

September 16, 2010

Review: Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom #1)

Title: Mister Monday
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Scholastic

From Goodreads
Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is, in fact, supposed to die an early death. But then his life is saved by a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock.
Arthur is safe--but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger named Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with bloodstained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back--even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him.
Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house--a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key--and discover his true fate.

My Thoughts
If you are looking for a new series after finishing the Percy Jackson series, this one may fit the bill.  Much like Percy, Arthur is put into the position of fighting to save what he didn't know existed.  Arthur is an unlikely hero that is thrown into something he wasn't ready for, but I love how he steps up to the challenge.  He is completely scared, but he decides that he must over come that and battle on. I really liked how well he thought on his feet.  I always think that in difficult scary situations I'd freeze up and have no clue what to do.  Many times when I would've been frozen Arthur's mind was in overdrive coming up with a plan.  I particularly liked the scene with the ambulance.  I won't say what happened but it was great!

The story has to do with the Will.  I won't try to explain it because it's a bit complicated, but the Will is broken into seven pieces and hidden.  People throughout the world of the Will of course what to bring the pieces back together and not always for good reasons.  It because Arthur's job to find the seven keys and stop anyone with bad intentions from taking over. A small task wouldn't you say??? This is difficult because Arthur isn't from the world of the Will, so doesn't understand everything.  Plus he was meant to die not live and fight! Within this world are many people are named after parts of the day like Noon and Dusk.  Plus there are ones dealing with each day of the week.  The star of this books is Mister Monday of course, and he's not a nice fellow! Arthur must battle him as he fights to collect the first of the seven keys.  As an English teacher I LOVED how Mister Monday was taken down but of course I won't tell you why that was :) It was cool though!

I will say that were parts of this book confused me.  When the Will and the realms were being explained I had to read really carefully in order to completely understand all the pieces.  To be honest I'm not sure I completely understand it all now.  I'm thinking that as the story continues it'll become even more clear. At least I hope it will! Because of this, I would make sure that a student understood that they'd need to read carefully before they started the book.  I think most kids would be fine, but it's something to keep in mind. I did have one student start the series this year and is loving it and another one who zipped through all seven books last year loving each one!

Final thought: Action + thinking = well done fun
Best stick-with-you image: the people busy busy in the first realm Arthur enters
Best for readers who: like a bit of thinking with their action
Best for ages: 10-14 or even older.

September 15, 2010

Two Winners

I have two quick winners to announce!

Blogfest Winner (I had 339 entries!!!!!!!!)

Inspired Kathy from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

Spaceheadz and MG Book Pack

Beverly from The Wormhole

Congrats to both of you! I'll be emailing you tonight but feel free to email me at foltzsfantasticbooks at if you see this first.

Didn't win? Enter my giveaway for a SIGNED copy of the Magnificent Twelve by Michael Grant. 
Go HERE HERE HERE to enter!

SIGNED The Magnificent Twelve: The Call Giveaway

I have been given the opportunity from Harper Collins to share with you, my fantastic followers and fellow middle grade book lovers, a giveaway for a signed, yes SIGNED, copy of The Magnificent Twelve: The Call by Michael Grant!!!

I'm super excited for this one.  I just shared the book trailer with my 7th graders, and they went nuts over it!!! Several wanted to know where they could get a copy. I see it as a great book to move Percy Jackson fans to.

If you don't know about this book, here is the information on it.

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal—also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

And check out the trailer! LOVE IT!!

This book is written by Michael Grant - the author of the Gone series.  Here is a bit about him:
MICHAEL GRANT is nothing like Mack MacAvoy. He travels all over the globe, he has a bit of a sarcastic streak, and he secretly suffers from belonephobia, a fear of needles. Seriously: Do not invite him to a sewing bee. Or a tattoo parlor. Okay, fine, maybe he’s a little like Mack MacAvoy.

Michael is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series and has written a total of 150 books (yes, you read that right: one hundred and fifty). He wrote most of his books with his wife, Katherine Applegate (K.A.), but the action-packed thrillers in the Gone series are all his. As is his newest series, the Magnificent Twelve, in which he delves into his inner (or, some might say, not so inner) child to create Mack, the unlikeliest of heroes. When Michael isn’t busy writing, he likes to travel, stare blankly at the TV, waste hours clicking aimlessly around the internet, listen to rock music and sing along in a nasal voice, complain, and go out to eat.

Be sure to also check out the website for The Magnificent Twelve where you can learn tons more about the book, play some games and chat with other readers

The HarperCollins Kids Twitter Page and Facebook page are also a great place to learn about other fantastic books.

And now or the giveaway details

-Winner must be in the US and have a non PO box shipping address
-Winner must claim the prize within 14 days of contest end date

September 14, 2010

BBAW Day Two - Interview Swaps! I Meet a Great New Blogger

Day #2 of BBAW features blogger interviews.  Today many bloggers will be posting interviews of other bloggers.  I wanted to join in this event because I love meeting other bloggers, seeing what and how they blog.

 I got the wonderful opportunity to meet Jill from Fizzy Thoughts.  

 I love what she has to say about herself on her blog:
I turned 41 this year (ack! I’m still wondering how that happened), but I promise you I rarely act my age. I have a huge sarcastic streak (it’s hereditary…from both sides of the family…I’m doomed) and I try very hard not to take myself seriously. You will often find bad song parodies lurking in between my posts about books. And watch out, you might even show up in one of them!
Now does that sounds like a fun blogger to read???? 
Make sure you go to Fizzy Thoughts and check her out!

Here's what she had to say about 5 questions I asked her.

1.  Why did you start blogging?
My original blog was on LiveJournal…I started blogging with a bunch of friends from BookCrossing. Mostly, it was just daily chatter. Later, after I moved over to Blogger, I started posting more about the books I’d read as a way of keeping track. I wanted to have a record since my memory is so lousy. The fabulous book blogger community is what keeps me blogging….I love connecting with others who are passionate about books and reading.

2.  If you could live within the world of any book - what one would you pick and why?
Even though it’s by no means a favorite book, I’m going to go with A Year in the World, by Frances Mayes. I’d love to travel around to different places and stay for weeks at a time in order to experience a place and its people. And not have to worry about where the money was coming from. And have a beautiful home in Italy to return to. What, me? Jealous? Why, yes, I am. I own my jealousy.

3.  I want to know what you think of the name Jill as well since I find it funny we are both named Jill!
Like you, I hated it when I was young. In 6th grade, the boys in my class thought it great fun to chant obscene versions of “Jack and Jill went up the hill.” Okay, maybe they weren’t really obscene versions, but 6th grade me hated them! As an adult, I still have a few issues with my name. Evidently, I can’t enunciate my own name, as people often think my name is Jo. And it’s always awkward when I meet a Jack (it happens more than you might think). But, on a positive note, it is easy to type.

4.  What is the first book you remember truly loving or wanting to read over and over? When was the last time you read it?
The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Or maybe Anne of Green Gables? Did I mention my lousy memory? I loved both of these books when I was young, and I know I read them multiple times. But I can’t remember the last time I read them…it must have been when I was a teen. As an adult, I’m not a re-reader.

5.  Since my blog theme is owls - do you like owls?
I love owls. I even have a little stuffed one sitting on top of the tv. Her name is Olivia, and she’s always reading a book. Last time I looked, it was Charlotte’s Web. And like me, she wears glasses. We’re practically twins.
And look she included a picture!!!  She has the same name as me AND and owl.  I'm gonna go with she's perfect.
Now stop reading my blog and go check out Fizzy Thoughts!

September 13, 2010

*****EDITED to Tell How I Got Them!****My new Design Your Own Chucks.

Ok let me explain :) I uploaded these via phone so I was limited.  I got these for my 40th bday (coming on the 29th).  You can make a pair.  Go to and pick "design your own".  From there you can make a pair you like!  Have fun. 

Welcome to BBAW 2010!!!

Hey everyone welcome to BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week). The BBAW Content Development Team is proud to announce our theme for 2010: A Treasure Chest of Infinite Books and Infinite Blogs.

If you don't know what BBAW is here is a bit about it taken from the BBAW Blog:
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.

There are lots of great things going on.  I personally will be posting an interview with a follow blogger on Tuesday.  Check out this post on the BBAW Blog to see all the happenings. 

Make sure to go to the GIVEAWAYS page for some fantastic giveaways in honor of BBAW.  Then get celebrating :)

Today we are sharing our First Treasures where we talk about a great new book blog we've discovered through blogging this year.  For me that book blog would be:

Milk & Cookies Comfort Reading

I love her blog because she does tons of reviews (something I need to get better at) and many of her reviews are on middle grade books.  Any time I'm wondering about a new book, I find a review for it on her blog! It's awesome :) This is really great when it comes to middle grade books.  I can't read them all, and her reviews help me see if it's a good it for my classroom library. I think I've read every review she's written!
 I highly suggestion you check her our and follow!!!

September 9, 2010

Blogfest 2010!! My Giveaway


Welcome to Blogfest 2010!!! I hope you've been making the rounds and signing up for some amazing giveaways!
The next stop on your Blogfest tour should be at Leksi Designs. From there you'll link to the next blog.
Be sure to also go to A Journey of Books for the complete list and help tracking your progress through all the giveaways AND a way to enter the "Big Giveaway".

I've got a choic for you today.  Lately I've been really into reading zombie books, so much so that I've been dreaming about them!!! Today up for grabs is your choice between three different zombie books.  Two are YA and one is MG.

First Choice

Second Choice

Third Choice

Must be US resident
Ends midnight EST Sept 12

September 7, 2010

Waiting on Wed: The Crepe Makers' Bond

This is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. In this post I talk about books yet to be released that I'm excited about OR already published book's I've seen that I'm really wanting to read. I also like to try and find books other bloggers aren't sharing so that more books are shared.

This week I'm waiting on:
The Crepe Makers' Bond
by Julie Crabtree
Released: Oct. 1, 2010
This is looks like a great middle grade book for girls.  I love ones that help girls see how to work through problems with friends because I know it's something they'll all face.  Besides, isn't the cover cute?!

From Goodreads
Ariel is the head chef in her family kitchen. Cucumber salads, fettuccine carbonara, fish tacos, and peanut butter pie are just a few of the dishes she crafts when she’s feeling frustrated by the world. And it’s turning into a frustrating year. Ariel, Nicki, and Mattie have been inseparable friends since they were little kids, but now Mattie’s mom has decided to move away. It’s the girls’ last year in middle school, and they can’t fathom being separated. The friends concoct a plan that will keep Mattie in the Bay area she’ll move in with Ariel and her family. But before you can say "bff," the party is over. Everything Mattie does gets on Ariel’s nerves, and it’s not long before the girls are avoiding each other. This was supposed to be their best year ever, but some painful lessons are threatening to tear their friendship apart. Can the girls scramble to make things right before the bond crumbles?

September 6, 2010

End of Summer Final Reading Counts

Sign.  It is now Labor Day and my last day of summer vacation.  Tomorrow I officially start back to work.  I thought it would be a good day to take a by final reading counts. I'm going to try and read one more book today (fingers crossed my kids let me!!)

Ok here are the stats:

Books read: 25
Hours read: 80 (that's 4800 minutes)
See right hand side for the book I read
Best Book: A tie between The Maze Runner and Catching Fire
How I did on the TBR list I set at the beginning of the summer: I had 26 books on my list.  I read 25 books! On the list I actually read 10.  Just goes to show I read more by what interests me at that time.
Challenge with my students: I'll announce those winners after school get going and I hear from them :)

Reviews written (I have a TON yet to write)
Click the title to see the review

September 5, 2010

Sunday Shelves - Mortal Instruments Series Jewelry

Sunday Shelves is now a multitude of things about books. It might be cool bookshelves I've seen or shelves of other bloggers. It might be cool books I've found that you should add to your bookshelf. It might me items related to reading like bookmarks, artwork. Or it might be a shoutout to fellow bloggers highlighting things they are doing. Sunday Shelves will be anything related to reading and books. Things your bookshelves might want added to them :)

Mortal Instruments Inspired Jewelry

I've just started reading City of Bones (if you haven't read it I suggest you get going!), and I thought it would be fun to share what an amazing Etsy seller has created inspired by the series.

 Here are two of my favorites by Hebelmet

Clary-Jace Spinner Ring.  Check out the details HERE.

Puzzle Heart Pendant.  Check out the details HERE.

September 3, 2010

Some New Book Trailers for Your Friday

I thought I'd share a few new book trailers with you today.  I love book trailers.  At work I do "Trailer Tuesday" with my students.  I've found that I'll hook some of the kids with a book talk, but I'll hook even more if  show them a well done trailer.  Anything that gets my students interested in reading is a-ok in my book :)

The first is for the the book Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.
This book sounds fantastic, and I love that the author was first published at 14.  My students will think that's the coolest thing. This will be one of the first trailers I show this year.

The second is for the book Radiance by Alyson Noel.
I've had several students read her Immortal series, so I know they'll be excited for this one.

Here is a bit about Radiance
Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

September 1, 2010

New Super September Reads

There are ton a great new books coming out in September, so I thought I'd take a moment to share with you what I'm most interested in or excited about. 
Click on the title to be taken to the Goodreads page for the book.

Reckless by Cornelia Funk
Release Date: Sept 14

After the popularity of the Inkspell series how could I not be excited for this one.

Release Date: Sept 28
I can never have too many sports books for the boys teach!

Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
Release Date: Sept 14
I hadn't heard of this one, but I will HAVE to get it! It sounds like a fun puzzle mystery that will really engage the reader and get them thinking.

The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham
Release Date: Sept 2

All I can say is CREEPY!!!!!!!

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
Release Date: Sept 30

I love take on the fairytale.  It sounds original.

Release Date: Sept 21

We've followed him since 8th grade.  Will he succeed?  What will happen? I cannot wait to find the answers!

The Crossbones (Skeleton Creek #3) by Patrick Carman
Release Date: Sept 1
I loved, loved the first two books and when my struggling readers couldn't put them down I knew they were fantastic! The mix of reading and media is great.

Torment by Lauren Kate
Release Date: Sept 28
I know some people didn't like the first book, but I really enjoyed it, and can't wait to read this one too.

Waiting on Wed: This Isn't What it Looks Like

This is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. In this post I talk about books yet to be released that I'm excited about OR already published book's I've seen that I'm really wanting to read. I also like to try and find books other bloggers aren't sharing so that more books are shared.

This week I'm waiting on:
This Isn't What It Looks Like
by Pseudonymous Bosch
Released: Sept 21, 2010
I didn't know there was another book in this series coming out! I read the first one and really enjoyed it.  It had lots of action, some silliness and a mystery to solve.  Several of my students read it and the following books and really liked it! I will say tho, that if you don't like books where the narrator talks directly to the read, this book is not for you since it happens throughout the book.
I did feature this book/author awhile back. Check out the post about this author/series HERE.  Please note that is an OLD OLD OLD giveaway from last year in the post!!!!!!!

From Goodreads
The Secret Series continues in this dangerous and daring fourth adventure.

Cass finds herself alone and disoriented, a stranger in a dream-like, medieval world. Where is she? Who is she? With the help of a long-lost relative, she begins to uncover clues and secrets--piecing together her family's history as she fights her way back to the present world.

Meanwhile, back home, Cass is at the hospital in a deep coma. Max-Ernest knows she ate Time Travel Chocolate--and he's determined to find a cure. Can our expert hypochondriac diagnose Cass's condition before it's too late? And will he have what it takes to save the survivalist?