December 22, 2012

End-of-the-Year Read-a-thon!!

I'm going to try another read-a-thon.  It seems that every time I try I get sick or a migraine, but I really want to participate so I'm going to try again!!

Enna Isilee is hosting this read-a-thon over at her blog Squeaky Books.  Check out the details HERE.  It's really laid back and self motivated.  I like that because I can just focus on the reading and nothing more.

To read:

Away by Teri Hall
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Dead City by James Ponti

Good luck if you decide to join up!

December 20, 2012

The March of Middle Survey

Last year I spent the entire month of March focusing on middle grade books.  I'm trying to decide if I should do it again.  I'd love some feedback from you.  If you would take the survey below I'd greatly appriciate it!

Here the the link to the first post from last year.

Please Click here to take survey and thanks in advance!!

And if you want to leave any thoughts in the comments please do so! I'd love to hear them.

December 17, 2012

Cover Crush: Out of Reach

I love book covers. Love love love them! I've been known to drag my sister around Barnes and Noble and show her all the covers I like. I'll hunt down certain students in the morning because I know they'll love a cover as much as me. I really think I develop a crush on certain covers!

Today I'm crushing on:

I just love the utter starkness of this cover.  It has such a sad and desolate and really helpless feel - I can feel it radiating off the cover.  Very well done!

How do you find someone who doesn't want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn't come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

December 14, 2012

Up Close and Personal: MG In the Wild

Seeing books on blogs is fun but seeing them in
 the wild rocks!!!!

Let's get Up Close and Personal with some MG books. 

Tilly's Moonlight Garden

Tilly just moved into a drafty old mansion, away from all her friends. She spends her afternoons wandering around her new backyard in order to escape the cold, dusty rooms of the house. But one night, Tilly follows a fox she has seen from her bedroom window and he leads her deep into a hidden garden that is nothing short of mesmerizing in the moonlight. This mysterious garden and the special friend she meets there help her rediscover the magic in her own life.

This is the story of an unforgettable time in one girl's life and how a new home, a secret garden, and a little fox can change someone in the most unexpected ways.

 How to Rock Break-Ups and Make-up

After a humiliating tumble down the social ladder, Kacey Simon is back on top, where she belongs. She's lost her lisp, traded in her Coke-bottle glasses for contacts, and learned that brutal honesty isn't always the best policy. Best of all, she's made up with Zander and her BFFs and reclaimed her spot as Gravity's lead singer. Her life is pitch-perfect--until Zander's ex-girlfriend, Stevie, arrives in town.

Marquette Middle hasn't seen a girl with such killer style and impressive vocals since... well, Kacey herself. Boys want to date Stevie, girls want to be her, and Kacey wants to boot her butt out of Chicago ASAP. But when Kacey reverts to her mean-girl ways to take Stevie down, will she lose the band--and Zander--for good?

It's not easy for a star to share the spotlight, but the show must go on in Meg Haston's stylish and clever sequel to How to Rock Braces and Glasses.

The Power of Poppy Pendle

Poppy may have inherited the family’s magical powers, but she would rather be a baker. How can she avoid the family business? Includes more than a dozen delectable recipes!
Ten-year-old Poppy, born to ordinary parents, inherits her famous Great Aunt Mabel’s genes—GAM was a famous witch. In Poppy’s world, witches work for good and are much valued, with powers both coveted and praised. But Poppy does not want to be a witch—she wants to be a baker, and she is extremely good at baking. Her parents insist Poppy follow in the footsteps of her great aunt, but Poppy has plans of her own.

     Part magic, part adventure, and wholly delicious, this spirited story includes more than a dozen recipes readers—and budding bakers—can try at home.

The Encyclopedia of Me

A is for "Tink Aaron-Martin," "Aardvark," and "Amazing" in this wonderful alphabetical novel!

Tink Aaron-Martin has been grounded AGAIN after an adventure with her best friend Freddie Blue Anderson. To make the time pass, she decides to write an encyclopedia of her life from "Aa" (a kind of lava--okay, she cribbed that from the real encyclopedia) to "Zoo" (she's never been to one, but her brothers belong there).

As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink's summer: more adventures with Freddie Blue (and more experiences in being grounded); how her family was featured in a magazine about "Living with Autism," thanks to her older brother Seb--and what happened after Seb fell apart; her growing friendship, and maybe more, with Kai, a skateboarder who made her swoon (sort of). And her own sense that maybe she belongs not under "H" for "Hideous," or "I" for "Invisible," but "O" for "Okay."

Written entirely in Tink's hilarious encyclopedia entries, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME is both a witty trick and a reading treat for anyone who loves terrific middle-grade novels.

Dead City

This one I bought! - MG zombie how could I not!

The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins says this paranormal action-adventure “breathes new life into the zombie genre” and has “a terrific twist of an ending.”
Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow has something else on her list: hunting zombies. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but outside the classroom she’s busy dealing with the undead. Because not only do zombies exist, they’re everywhere, and it’s her job to help police them and keep the peace. Sure, she’d like to be a regular kid, but given that her mother was the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City, “regular” just isn’t possible. Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow—and some undeadly consequences if she fails.

Keeper of the Lost Cities

I've been following Shannon Messenger's blog as she got closer and closer to the date this book was published it was so fun to see her excitement!!!!

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Seen anything good latey???

December 12, 2012

Book Trailers - Any Suggestions of Good Ones????

Hey all I just reaching out to see if you have any to share.  The last two years I always had Trailer Tuesday in my 7th grader classes.  I would take some time at the start of the hour to show some books trailers.  

This year has been crazy since I switched jobs and I'm now teaching 5-8 High Potential English.  I'd like to start showing some more again.  

This is where I need your help!!!
 Do you know of any good YA or MG trailers that have come out in the last few months??? 
I'm behind in finding any.  
Any you could share would be great.  


December 11, 2012

Mini Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

This is going to be very quick because I know so many of you know this book and have already read/reviewed/ it or read reviews on it.  I picked it up to read because I was seeing all the posts about the movie, so I wanted to read it before the movie came out.

I liked it.  Did I LOVE it? No, but I did enjoy it.  I liked the characters a lot especially Lena.  I just thought she was a very strong girl, and I liked that.  The plot was good - lots of secrets that started to be opened up, so that held my interests.  I liked that people weren't all that they seemed.  There was so much under the surface of the town of Gatlin that sometimes it was hard to keep up! But I'd rather have that than be really bored :)

One thing I didn't like - the way the town including the adults treated Lena from day one.  I just found myself very frustrated by it.  I think it comes from being a teacher.  I can't stand bullying at all, so having it so prevalent in this book was hard at times. In all I enjoyed the book but I did have to let go of my annoyance over this one part!

Final thought:  I'll definitely see the movie now!!

December 10, 2012

Cover Crush: Notes From a Ghost Town

I love book covers. Love love love them! I've been known to drag my sister around Barnes and Noble and show her all the covers I like. I'll hunt down certain students in the morning because I know they'll love a cover as much as me. I really think I develop a crush on certain covers!

Today I'm crushing on:

This cover caught my attention immediately.  And to be honest I can't explain why!!  There's just something about it - her in the water seemingly hugging someone, but you know she isn't because we've all done that fake kiss/hug before.  Then the title just really makes me curious.  I don't know why, but I love it!! Sorry but I can't give you more than that.

They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it's only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There's a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there's a good chance she's losing her mind completely--just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn't really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It's the only way she can save herself.

December 4, 2012

Cold Nights Warm Books Holiday Book Swap: What I Got

For the first time in a while I decided to participate in a holiday book swap.  I always think they are fun, but I've gotten burned a few times, so I backed off.  But when I heard that  Emily's blog or Enna's blog was hosting a swap I decided to get in the holiday spirit and join in.  
So very glad I did!

Here's what I got!

Some really cute sticker and reading buttons.  I love the buttons.  At work I have to wear a lanyard with my ID, so I'll be able to put them there :)

The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it's draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. First in a new series.

The Familiars

Is the kingdom's fate in the hands of an orphan cat?

Running fast to save his life, Aldwyn ducks into an unusual pet store. Moments later Jack, a young wizard in training, comes in to choose a magical animal to be his familiar. Aldwyn's always been clever. But magical? Jack thinks so and Aldwyn is happy to play along.

He just has to convince the other familiars the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert that he's the powerful cat he claims to be.

Then the unthinkable happens. Jack and two other young wizards are captured by the evil queen of Vastia.

On a thrilling quest to save their loyals, the familiars face dangerous foes, unearth a shocking centuries-old secret, and discover a destiny that will change Vastia forever. Their magical adventure an irresistible blend of real heart, edge-of-your-seat action, and laugh-out-loud humor is an unforgettable celebration of fantasy and friendship.

Plus some cute owl magnetic bookmarks which are my favorite kind of bookmarks!