9

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Featuring Travel

Hi there!

It’s Tuesday! And tomorrow is my last day at my school with my awesome students….but I promised myself I wouldn’t cry today (I’m moving to South Carolina in July), so let’s just get on with the list!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday  (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is focused on books that feature travel. Although I haven’t done a ton of it, I love traveling and exploring new places. I hope to do much, much more traveling in the future! But for now, due to a lack of traveling funds, I bring you books that feature travel. Some of these books feature travel for pleasure and some for necessity, but it’s all travel!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (YA)

Love at first sight on a plane on the way to London.

Paper Towns by John GreenPaper Towns by John Green (YA)

Road trip with friends to find another friend.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (YA)

Traveling through distant lands to assemble the team who will take back the kingdom of Lumatere.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis (MG)

Operation Pedro Pan children traveling from Cuba to the U.S.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman PhilbrickThe Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick (MG)

A boy searching for his brother travels across a Civil War torn United States.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (MG)

The true story of Salva’s travels one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

TempestTempest by Julie Cross (YA)

Time travel!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (YA)

A girl’s scavenger hunt across Europe.

Woods Runner by Gary PaulsenWoods Runner by Gary Paulsen (MG)

A boy searches across states for his kidnapped parents during the American Revolution.

Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey CouloumbisThe Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis (MG)

Two orphaned sisters set out into the Wild West and soon find themselves as outlaws.

So, as mentioned earlier some of these books feature a fun, lighthearted travel while others are travel for more serious reasons, but all of the above books are great reads! Have you read any of these? Are there some travel books that I absolutely must read?

1

May New Releases

Can you believe it’s already May?!

I can’t! This school year has completely flown by! There is like 21 school days left and then…SUMMER VACATION! YAY!

Yes, us teachers and librarians look forward to summer just as much (if not more) than the students do! So, as we count down the days left in the school year, let’s also take a look at the new books that May brings us.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy GreenwaldCharlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald (May 7)

Chantress by Amy Butler GreenfieldChantress by Amy Butler Greenfield (May 7)

Wednesdays In The Tower by Jessica Day GeorgeWednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George (May 7)

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl (May 7)

The 5th Wave by Rick YancyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (May 7)

Nantucke Blue by Leila HowlandNantucket Blue by Leila Howland (May 7)

Towering by Alex FlinnTowering by Alex Flinn (May 14)

Vote by Gary PaulsenVote by Gary Paulsen (May 14)

All I Need by Susan ColasantiAll I Need by Susan Colasanti (May 21)

Thousand Words by Jennifer BrownThousand Words by Jennifer Brown (May 21)

All of these May new releases seem like have good potential although, I think I’m the most interested in Nantucket Blue, ChantressIcons and The 5th Wave. Have any of you already read them (ARCs) or are there any you’re particularly looking forward to?

4

Top Ten Tuesday: January New Releases

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and happy New Years Eve! It is a brand new year full of hope and newness, and with a new year comes a new month and…new books!

Every Tuesday I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday.  This week the theme is Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read In 2013, but I like to spend the start of each month focusing on new releases. It’s only the first day of 2013 and I’m already going my own way!

So, let’s go ahead and take a peek at ten books that will be released in January.

The Fire Horse Girl by Victoria SchwabThe Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman (Jan. 1)

Casualties of War by Chris LynchCasualties of War (Vietnam #4) by Chris Lynch (Jan. 1)

Crash by Lisa McMannCrash by Lisa McMann (Jan. 8)

Just One Day by Gayle FormanJust One Day by Gayle Forman (Jan. 8)

Road Trip by Gary PaulsenRoad Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen (Jan. 8)

Shades of Earth by Beth RevisShades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis (Jan. 15)

The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived by Victoria Schwab (Jan. 22)

Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu (Jan. 29)

The Prey by Andrew FukudaThe Prey by Andrew Fukuda (Jan. 29)

What the Spell by  Brittany GeragotillisWhat the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis (Jan. 29)

So there you have it!  Brand new delicious looking books to help ring in the new year!

7

Top Ten Tuesday: Middle Grade Fiction Recommendations for Boys

Hi there!

Happy Election Day!

For those of you who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish.  This week’s theme is open to whatever us book bloggers want to make our lists about.

I was talking with some sixth grade boys at school recently about books they’ve enjoyed, so I thought I’d focus this week’s list around some of the titles these boys recommended (other than The Wimpy Kid Series).  So, this week’s list is Top Ten Middle Grade Recommendations for Boys. Now, don’t get my wrong girls can read these books too…of course…but these are some of the titles my boys said they love!

Framed by Gordon Korman1. The Framed series by Gordon Korman

Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson2. The Daniel X series by James Patterson

Storm Runners by Roland Smith3. The Storm Runners series by Roland Smith

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli4. Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

Hide and Seek by Katy Grant5. Hide and Seek by Katy Grant

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis6. 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen7. Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Storm Breaker by Anthony Horowitz8. The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson9. Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Everlost by Neal Shusterman10. The SkinJacker trilogy by Neal Shusterman

According to my boys, these are top-notch reads so if you’re looking for something to interest the middle school aged guy in your life, look no further! Do you have any other suggestions for middle grades books?

4

I Only Had Eyes For Nancy Drew: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hi!

So, somewhere in elementary school I missed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.  I know why.  I was engrossed in my Nancy Drew mysteries.  Seriously.  I read them all (and there are about 150 originals).  So, if it wasn’t a Nancy Drew book, I ignored it.  This is why I never read Hatchet by Gary PaulsenHatchet, until now.

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered windbreker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present — and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair — it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Of course Hatchet was awesome. It is a twentieth century classic. It’s a Newberry Award book! I finished it thinking, “Well that was just a darn good book”.

From the fist few sentences I was hooked.  Paulsen’s style of writing is so clean. By clean I mean uncluttered.  Paulsen only writes what is important and the reader doesn’t get bogged down with other information, because he only describes the important things. The whole time the reader is experiencing every thing right alongside Brian. From the pilot’s heart attack, to the plane crash, to the moose attack (Yes. That’s right.) I was right there beside him wondering, like Brian, if he’s going to survive on his own in the wilderness.  I was so involved in Brian’s story that I found myself feeling excited and joyous whenever he made a small victory, or holding my breath when he made a mistake. Talk about engrossing!

Another aspect about Hatchet that I liked was Brian’s memories and dreams. Throughout the story Brian is alone. All by himself. No one for miles. He is forced to deal with his thoughts and memories, especially those relating to the secret about his mother. Brian isn’t only trying to survive physically, but he is also trying to survive his parents’ divorce emotionally.  Both survival attempts mirror each other as the story unfolds.  Brian learns that self-pity doesn’t work.  In order to move beyond things, in a healthy way, is to face them head on – a lesson I can always use a reminder in!

Would I have enjoyed Hatchet as much if I’d read it when my classmates were reading it?  Probably not. (Nancy Drew I only had eyes for you!)  But I am so glad I finally took the time to read this modern-day classic.  Middle grade readers and older  who enjoy survival stories will probably love this book and anyone who hasn’t read Hatchet yet really should add it to their To Read List.  I highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator, Peter Coyote, did a wonderful job (plus it’s a super fast listen).

Author: Gary Paulsen

Publisher: Listening Library (April 27, 2004)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 3 hrs, 37 mins

Narrator(s): Peter Coyote

Series: First in the Brian’s Saga series.

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Hatchet By Gary Paulsen

10

Top Ten Tuesday: Read Alikes

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Every Tuesday I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday Meme which is hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme for others to create lists so that us book bloggers can get to know each other better and talk about what we love… books!

This week’s list is Books for People Who Like X book…in other words its read alike week! Today I’ll be giving read alike suggestions for some popular Middle Grades and Young Adult fictions titles. Hopefully this list will be helpful to you in figuring out what to read next!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeIf you like Princess Academy by Shannon Hale… try Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Both Hale and George are the queens of middle grades fairy tales retold! And they’re friends in real life.  They’re perfect read alikes.

The Loser List by HN KowittIf you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney… try The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt

Both books are about boys who are struggling to make it through their teenage year and are told in words and doodles.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanIf you like  Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen… try The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

These two rock the summery contemporary YA world!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerIf you like the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins… try The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Both dystopian novels feature strong characters fighting against corrupt governments.  Both are pretty intense reads!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneIf you like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz… try Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Alex Rider is the modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes.  Both are British teen spies/detectives attempting to save the world. Fun stuff!

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyIf you like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen… try Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Both tell the stories of teens attempting to survive in the wilderness.  One in the Canadian mountains and another in the Florida Everglades.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerIf you like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan… try the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Although one is about Greek gods and the other focuses on vampires, both stories are about boys who uncover their true identities.

Football Hero by Tim GreenIf you like The Underdogs by Mike Lupica… try Football Hero by Tim Green

Both authors write books about regular kids and sports. Both are really fun middle grade reads!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlIf you like The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray… try Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both are paranormal young adult novels with a dollop of romance thrown in!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteIf you liked The Mortal Instruments series or The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare… try the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White

Both series center on a teen girl who thinks her life is pretty normal until she realizes her connection to the supernatural world.

Do you recommend any other read alikes for the books I’ve mentioned above?

14

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read

Howdy!  It’s the last Tuesday of the school year! WHOOT! WHOOT!

Top Ten TuesdayEvery week I bring you a Top Ten Tuesday and this week is no different.  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous Broke and Bookish to encourage community among book bloggers and to showcase what we love best…BOOKS!

Each week there is a specific theme and this week is a rewind week where we can choose any past Top Ten topic.  I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the books I haven’t read, so my list is books that I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read.  These are books that are major mainstays in the classic middle grade and young adult canon, but for some reason, I just haven’t read them.  They’re all supposed to be fantastic reads (duh that’s why their considered classics) and many have been sitting on my Goodreads To Read shelf for years, but I just can’t seem to get to them.

You’re curious huh?  You want to know what books I am behind the times on! Okay, well here we go!

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper1. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

The students at my school really love this book and always tell me that I need to read it.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen2. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

I remember my classmates reading this one in elementary and middle school.  I was too busy solving mysteries with Nancy Drew to get into this one, but I wish I had!

The Fellowship of the Rings by JRR Tolkien3. The Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien

This one is obviously a classic and I’ve seen (and love) the movies.  This series is just such a huge time commitment though. Maybe I’ll save these for one day when we have kids who want to read them…

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor4. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

My focus of study as a History major was the Southern Civil Rights Movement, so the fact that I haven’t read this book is just plain lame.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I know! I know! It’s classic Young Adult and I know its supposed to be so good!  But I’m honestly a little intimidated by this book!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry6. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Again, as a History lover you’d think I’d have attacked this one long ago, but alas, I have not.

Holes by Louis Sachar7. Holes by Louis Sachar

Tons of people tell me this is one of their all time faves, but again, I missed the boat on this one!

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

I hadn’t thought too much about this one since 5th grade (somewhere in the early 90s).  But a student recently read it and told me how much she loved it.  Get with the times Christina!

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

What?!  I know.  Everyone loves this one.

10. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

This book is TEENY TINY! Why haven’t I read it? Again, I am a broken record.  I DON’T KNOW!

This is pretty bad huh? *hides face in palms shamefully*

I promise to repent of my lameness at start fitting these classics into my reading schedule!  Forgive me!

Are you like me?  Are there classics that you just haven’t gotten to yet?  Maybe we should start a support group to hold each other accountable to finally pick up these titles!

5

Top Ten Tuesday: May New Releases

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event held over at The Broke and Bookish as a way for book bloggers to socialize a little and have some fun!  Every week they post a Top Ten Tuesday theme or topic.  This week’s official theme is Top Ten Books You’d Like To See Made Into A Movie.  Well, I just posted a Top Ten Tuesday with this theme a few months ago (which you can read here), so this week I’m doing my own thing. :)

Okay, so this was most relevant yesterday when it was still April 30, but it’s way too funny not to post!  So, pretend you’re reading this post on Monday, April 30.

Its April 30, so that means that tomorrow….It's Gonna Be May

HAHAHAHAHA OH. MY. GOSH.  Its a day later and it still makes me laugh out loud. For real.

Aren’t you so glad I shared that?!  I know. Me too!

Okay.  Back to books!

Since it is officially May, its time to talk about some of the awesome reads that will be released this month. So, that’s exactly what this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about: May New Releases!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare, May 8 (YA)

Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth, May 1 (YA)

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreBitterblue (Graceline Realm #3) by Kristin Cashore, May 1 (YA)

Game Changers by Mike LupicaGame Changers by Mike Lupica, May 8  (MG)

Struck by Jennifer BosworthStruck by Jennifer Bosworth, May 8 (YA)

Crush by Gary PaulsenCrush by Gary Paulsen, May 8 (MG)

Until I Die by Amy PlumUntil I Die by Amy Plum, May 8 (YA)

Enchanted by Alethea KontisEnchanted by Alethea Kontis, May 8 (YA)

The Hunt by Andrew FukudaThe Hunt by Andrew Fukuda, May 8 (YA)

The Accused by John GrishamThe Accused (Theodore Boone #3) by John Grisham, May 15 (MG)

There are just so many books being released in May, so I’m sure I left a few off.  Are there any May releases you’re excited about?

16

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction Titles I’ve Read and Enjoyed

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to showcase book and help other book bloggers get to know each other better.  This week’s theme was supposed to be “Books I’d Play Hookie With” but I just couldn’t get into it, so I went a different route.

Did you know I was a history major in college?  Yes, its true!  I love learning about different time periods and thinking about what life must have been like during those particular times. I also really enjoy historical fiction, but I tend to read less of it than any other genre because it doesn’t circulate at my school.  I try to focus on reading those things that my students will check out, so I can be informed on their tastes.   Because of this I haven’t been able to read a lot of Young Adult or Middle Grades historical fiction, but I decided that I’d let you know which ones I have read and have enjoyed.  So, this week’s Top Ten is focused on ten Historical Fiction titles I’ve read and enjoyed (in no particular order).

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell BartolettiThe Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 

Based on the true story of teenager Helmut Hubner, who dares to tell the truth about Hitler in a World War II Germany.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellWhat I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

A coming of age story of age story involving a girl and the scandal that surrounds her family’s vacation to Florida in a Post World War II United States.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack GantosDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (MG)

Part fiction and part memoir, Jack Gantos tells the story of one  strange, mysterious and humorous summer in his childhood.

Woods Runner by Gary PaulsenWoods Runner by Gary Paulsen (MG)

On the cusp of the American Revolution young Sam must rescue his parents when they are kidnapped by Red Coats.

Cross My Heart by Sasha GouldCross My Heart by Sasha Gould (YA)

A girl navigates life in Venetian society while trying to discover the secrets surrounding her sister’s mysterious death.

May B by Carolyn Starr RoseMay B.: A Novel by Carolyn Starr Rose (MG)

A girl struggling with dyslexia on the prairie is sent away to help a newlywed couple only to be abandoned in the middle of an extremely harsh winter.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'DellIsland of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (MG)

Karana is the Indian girl who lives alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins where she struggles to survive and undergoes personal discovery.

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and TR SimonZora and Me by Victoria Bond and TR Simon (MG)

A fictionalized tale of the childhood of writer Zora Neale Hurston in which she and her friends uncover a mystery in their hometown of Eatonville, Florida.

Billy Creekmore by Tracey PorterBilly Creekmore by Tracey Porter (MG)

An orphan boy  travels from the coal mines of West Virginia in the early 1900s to the world of a traveling circus, in search of his past, his future, and his own true identity.

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner DubleThe Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble (MG)

The year is 1692 and witches have been found in Salem, Massachusetts.  Panic begins to spread to Abigail Faulkner’s town of Andover causing life  to quickly and  drastically change for Abigail and her family.

What do you think of the list?  I’m sure there are tons of historical fiction titles I haven’t read yet.  Do you have any recommendations for my future reading?

Standard
5

Tuesday Top Ten: Books My Students Are Reading

20120306-073519.jpg
It’s Tuesday! YAY!

Who knows what’s popular in YA and MG fiction better than real live actual teens? My students can be pretty picky when it comes to books they enjoy so I know that when they like books, that means they’re titles worth taking a look at. So, this week’s Top Ten highlights some of the current popular titles at my school.

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass13 Gifts by Wendy Mass (MG)

Nothing but Drama by ReShonda Tate BillingsleyNothing but Drama by ReShonda Tate Billingsley (YA/MG)

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon SandersonAlcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (MG)

All Night Party by R.L. StineAll Night Party by R.L. Stine (MG/YA)

Hatchet by Gary PaulsenHatchet by Gary Paulsen (MG)

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor (MG)

Alibi Junior High by Greg LogstedAlibi Junior High by Greg Logstead (MG)

Double Dutch by Sharon DraperDouble Dutch by Sharon Draper (MG)

Chasing the Falconers by Gordon KormanChasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman (MG)

The Sea of Monsters by Rick RiordanSea of Monsters (Percy Jackson #2) by Rick Riordan (MG)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started by The Broke and Bookish to
encourage blogger interaction! :)