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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Were Taught in Schools

Hello!

I’m back!

Wow! The past few weeks have been really busy and tiring with school starting back up. I didn’t intend to take some time off the blog, but I didn’t plan well and all of a sudden I had a lot going on and no posts planned. And THAT is how the blog gets away from you folks!

But I’m back and I’m working on getting some posts scheduled for the next two months or so. *crosses fingers*

Well, it is time for Top Ten Tuesday (A weekly meme hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and Bookish) and I’m ready to go! There was a bit of a choice for today’s theme.  We could either pair up classic school required reading titles with contemporary books, or we could list titles that we wished were taught in schools. I chose the second option since I’m also a school librarian. Sometimes I read a book that I just have to share with my teachers because I know it fits perfectly into their curriculum…this list contains some of those titles.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin LevineThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

This is a middle grades level historical fiction novel that would fit really well in an 8th grade American History course. It is all about Little Rock, Arkansas in the year following the integration of the public schools with the Little Rock Nine.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This one is perfect for a high school history course when covering the Holocaust and World War II. It would be so beneficial to see the Jewish Holocaust was not an isolated event, but that this type of thing has happened in other places/eras as well.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I think this one should be taught in English classes all over solely for the beauty of Stiefvater’s prose.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Another 20th Century history topic that gets skipped over frequently in the classroom. It could be taught alongside a 20th century American History course.

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda WoodsSaint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

This quick read could be taught in a science class to support a unit on weather or natural disasters since it’s all about a boy’s experience in the midst of Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A quick but moving story detailing one boy’s story of civil war in Sudan. This could be taught in a World History class.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Floridian science and social studies teachers could use this in the classroom when discussing Florida.

 Bystander by James PrellerBystander by James Preller

A fabulous read for a Character Development course on the middle school level as it touches on bullying: the bully, the victim and the bystander.

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine PatersonThe Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

Again, with the 20th century history topics! This one tells the story of an Albanian girl whose family is forced to become refugees while escaping their Serbian oppressors.

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

This dystopian sci-fi read could be taught in a middle or high school English class as an alternative to the more traditional dystopian titles.

So there you have it! These are some titles that I think would be great titles to teach in a classroom setting. Have any of you educators actually had to opportunity to teach any of these books? Let me know! I’d like to hear your thoughts!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Hi there!

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for the weekly Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

I KNOW! I KNOW! This theme was from like two weeks ago. But our internet choose to be finicky so I couldn’t post it. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of this week’s official theme, which was favorite beginnings or endings in a book. I have way too many of those and can’t even begin to list them, so I’m going back to the one I skipped.  :)

Mini Life Update: We’ve been in Columbia, SC for about two weeks now and are slowly but surely getting the house put together.  We’re enjoying exploring our new neighborhood and city – we even visited out local public library on date night!

House

Isn’t our new house adorable?!

Well, let’s get back to Top Ten Tuesday – my theme is Authors Who Deserve More Recognition. There are so many authors who are awesome but they aren’t the ones you hear about all the time. These are authors who are newer or maybe they’ve been around a little while and they just fly under the radar. All of these authors come with a high recommendation from BookTasty, so if you haven’t ready any of their books, you really need to!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger

She writes super fun steampunk stories.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day GeorgeJessica Day George

I love her light-hearted fairy taleish books.

Entwined by Heather DixonHeather Dixon

Awesome fairy tale retellings.

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanRachel Hartman

A debut in 2012 that was a great addition to the fantasy world!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellAlex Lidell

A 2013 debut and I can’t wait for more!

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda WoodsBrenda Woods

Such a well written middle grades look at Hurricane Katrina mixed with a coming of age story.

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal AllenCrystal Allen

She writes a loveable main character in this story of bowling and character.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyGinny Rorby

Awesome survival tale set in the Everglades.

DarkLifeKat Falls

Wonderfully imagined dystopian mystery set under the ocean surface.

joltedArthur Slade 

What a fun and quirky read!

If you haven’t read anything by these authors you really should. I think they’re all delightful authors who definitely deserve to have more people read their books.

So…what are you waiting for?!

GO READ!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2012

Hello and Happy Tuesday everyone!

Every week I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. A theme is posted each week and book bloggers near and far create lists centered on this theme. This week’s theme is Top Ten Favorite Books Read in 2012.

This is hard. I read so many entertaining, fun, well-written books this past year! Narrowing these all around good reads is extremely difficult and I know I’ll revisit this list in a few months wishing I had included, or not included, a specific title. Knowing this I am trying to do my best in selecting books that stuck with me for some reason.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beautiful. This book was simply beautiful. If you haven’t read this fantasy you must! It may in fact, be my favorite read of the year.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine2. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

This fairy tale meets murder mystery was fun and I’d like to see more of this genre mashup.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby3. Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

My favorite Florida Sunshine State book of the year.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Retold fairy tales get me all the time and this once was lush and well written.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A highly anticipated sequel that did not disappoint!

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale6. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I prefer this gothic novel-esque sequelover the first book, Austenland! (Not YA or MG)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Adored this futuristic (and slightly Firefly-ish) spin on the classic tale Cinderella.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hirandani8. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Beautifully well written middle grades fiction dealing with some serious family issues.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner9. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This is book two in the series but I prefer it to the others in the series because Thomas’ world opens up a lot more.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is hauntingly well done.

Are you like me and have a difficult time choosing?!  Well, here are some Honorable Mentions for 2012:

a. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

b. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Yes I finally read this!)

c. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

What were some of your favorite reads of 2012? Are any of your selected titles on my list?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite New-To-Me Authors In 2012

Welcome back!

Every week I participate in the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday event. Each Tuesday the lovely people at Broke and Bookish post a theme to create a list by. This week’s theme is theme is My Favorite New-To-Me Authors of 2012.

Well, 2012 is almost over! Can you believe it?! This year has gone by so quickly! I read a lot of books this year and a lot of them were by authors I hadn’t read before. Some I loved and some I wasn’t a huge fan of. Below you’ll find a list of the ten new-to-me authors that I whose work I really loved!

Kami Kinard (The Boy Project)

James Dashner (The Maze Runner series)

Veera Hiranandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl)

Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Jack Gantos(Dead End in Norvelt)

Juliet Marillier (Wildwood Dancing)

Ginny Rorby (Lost in the River of Grass)

Tera Lynn Childs (Forgive My Fins)

Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water)

Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes)

P.W. Catanese (Happenstance Found)

I hope that if you haven’t yet read any of these authors you try to soon because they’re all talented storytellers and their books are so worthwhile! Were there any new-to-you authors that you discovered in 2012?

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Fictional Real World Romances

Top Ten TuesdayHi!

Well, I am in the midst of Pre-Planning week at school.  The 2012-2013 school year is upon us and my kids will be back on campus next week.  I am, as I’m sure all educators are, both excited to get back to work and sad to see my summer freedom go away.

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite feature, hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday was created because of a love of lists and all things bookish. Each week a theme is posted and we get to create a list based on that theme and share it with others!

Because Jaime from The Broke and Bookish is getting married soon (YAY! Congrats!), this week’s theme  is Top Ten Fictional Romances that I Think Would  Actually Make it in the Real World.  These are fictional couples that have some sort of quality that would give help them to last if they were actually in the non fictional world we all live in.  Each of the couples I’ve listed below have what I think it takes to survive outside of their fictional environments. Yay romance!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins1. Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Claire

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and Etienne waited out their relationship for-EVER! This couple knows what it takes to work hard at getting something right.  I think they’d do just fine in the real world where relationships are hard work.

Forgive My Fins by Terri Lynn Childs2. Lily Sanderson and Quince Fletcher

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Quince’s affection for Lily is long standing and he stood by her even when it hurt him. Lily is incredibly loyal and once she makes a decision she pretty much sticks to it. Plus both Quince and Lily push and encourage each other to be better people and are willing to say what needs to be said even if the truth might hurt a little.

Heist Society by Ally Carter3. Katarina Bishop and Hale

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Trust.  Kat and Hale have it.  You can’t pull major heist after major heist with someone unless you trust them.  In the real world, trust really is paramount to a relationship.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby4. Sara and Andy

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Sarah and Andy have been through some seriously difficult times together. A real life romance, that has what it takes to make it, is one where the couple can stand firm together through the fiercest trials.  I’d say walking out of the Everglades together is a pretty fierce trial!

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood5. Cate Cahill and Finn Belastra Born Wicked

Cate and Finn both have each other’s backs.  In a real life relationship, you have to be on your partner’s side. If they don’t believe you are on their side fighting through life with them, there is something lacking.  I believe that Cate and Finn, living in a society that is unfriendly to both of them, are on each other’s side when it seems like no one else is.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale6. Charlotte Kinder and Edmund Grey

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Charlotte and Edmund hit it off right away.  They have an easy friendship and make each other laugh. Friendship and laughter are two incredibly important factors in a relationship.  If you’re not friends how will you enjoy being with this person every single day? If your partner doesn’t make you laugh how can you make it through the monotony that is day to day life?  In my opinion, you can’t; friendship and laughter are integral to a successful relationship.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen7. MacLean and Dave

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

MacLean and Dave stick together even when the easy thing to do is run.  They know that relationships take hard work, and sometimes the pain of life can attack and make the relationship seem like more work than it’s worth.  MacLean and Dave seem to get it though.  Any relationship that matters is worth the work.

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer8. Vlad Tod and Snow

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Healthy relationships call for sacrifice sometimes.  I believe that Vlad and Snow understand that sometimes in a relationship you have to sacrifice for the other person.  I mean come on…she let him suck her blood; if that’s not sacrifice I don’t know what is!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen9. Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The best things in life are free! Both Catherine and Henry completely get what is important in life and it’s not money!  Both would give up wealth if it meant they’d get to be together.  Le sigh…maybe my favorite couple on this list!

River Secrets by Shannon Hale10. Razo and Dasha

River Secrets (Books of Bayern #3) by Shannon Hale

Both Razo and Dasha know what it means to be overlooked despite your special qualities.  These two can see past the failures or weaknesses seen by others and into the real quality person beneath.  They’re just so cute together too!

So there you have it!  What’d you think of the couples I’ve chosen? Which fictional couples do you think would survive in the real world?

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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?

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Right in My Own Backyard: Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

The third 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State book I’ve read this summer (out of fifteen).

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorbyaren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an air boat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.

This is my favorite of the three Sunshine State Books I’ve read so far this summer!  I think the title, Lost if the River of Grass is fabulously foreboding and terrifying.  This is an incredibly exciting survival tale that is that much more exciting to me because the Everglades are only a few hours south of where I live so it makes it that much more real (and scary!).  After reading this book I am reminded of how much I need to learn about survival skills!  I know some basics (thanks Bear Grylls!) but I don’t think I’d know enough to get myself out of The Everglades alive.

I like Sarah, the city girl main character, and can totally understand her behavior when faced with intense difficulties and fear.  The way she complained and argued with Andy made total sense to me, even if I found it annoying at times.  If I had been stuck out on the swamp (IT’S THE SWAMP, PEOPLE!) with no way of getting out but walking through it surrounded by snakes, mosquitoes, gators and God knows what else, I’d be pretty annoying too!

Rorby’s descriptions of the Everglades and the problems you’d face were spot on.  I felt like I was there trudging alongside Sarah and Andy the whole way.  I was so engrossed with this page turner the whole way through that I actually prayed multiple times that I’d never, ever get stuck in the Everglades!

There is a pretty cute romance between Sarah and Andy, the boy who offers to take Sarah on a boat ride that I think girls will like, but it isn’t a huge part of the story so I think boys will still find Lost in the River of Grass interesting, despite the romance. In the end I think this survival story will appeal to readers in the middle grades and up, although I believe it will have special appeal to those living in Florida.

Note: Just realized author Ginny Rorby grew up in Winter Park, Florida where I live! I knew she went to school in my county, but had no idea she was from Winter Park! Very cool!

Author: Ginny Rorby

Publisher:  Carolrhoda Books (February 9, 2011)

Format: Paperback

Length: 255 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: Lost in the River of Grass

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Tasty Treats (1)

Howdy!

A few weeks ago I decided not to participate in the In My Mailbox meme.  Not out of protest but out of personal conviction regarding my obsessive blogger behavior.  You can read that post in full here.

So, while I will no longer be writing a weekly post about what books I received, I will be posting about this randomly…or better yet, whenever I feel like it! :)  The posts will be called Tasty Treats.  I tend to view all books as tasty treats just waiting to be devoured, so why not just call it that?!

Now let me just tell you that May was a busy month for my digital mailbox as well as the physical one.  I somehow managed to win like three giveaways and received some really exciting books from authors and publishers!  I’ve already posted about some of the books I got this month here. So, today I am showing off  the second group of tasty treats I got during May!

Insurgent by Veronica RothFirst let me show off an audiobook I received from Harper Audio- Insurgent by Veronica Roth!  I just finished it yesterday in the car and am already ready for the third book in the series! It was sooo good! Thanks to Harper Audio!

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy

A huge thanks to author Joanne Levy for sending me a review copy of her debut novel Small Medium at Large and the book marks (not shown).  I can’t wait to share them with my students!

Birthmarked and Born Wicked

Also, thanks to Kare at Ex Libris for the two books I won in one of her recent giveaways!  Above you see Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  Now I have two copies of Born Wicked- one of which will go to my school library.

Lexapros and Cons and Lost in the River of Grass

Also, I snagged a copy of Lost in the River of Grass by Giny Rorby from my Media Center since it’s on the Sunshine State list this year.   And finally, a big thanks to Heidi at YA Bibliophile for Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo, which I won in one of her recent giveaways!

You can see I got some really rad looking books over the past few weeks!  I can’t wait to get started on them and it’s going to be soon because school is almost out for the summer! YAY!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recently Bought for My Media Center

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to help book bloggers get to know each other a little better while talking about what we all love- books! This week’s official theme is Top Ten Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN’T about Books. Well, I don’t visit too many blogs that aren’t book blogs so I’m going to mix it up a bit today.

Two weeks ago I held the school’s Spring Book Fair in my Media Center. It was a successful fundraiser for the Media Center and I always end of buying new books to catalog. In fact, if I could I’d buy the whole Book Fair! But I cannot…alas!

Since I did spend some money on new books (as usual) my theme for the week is Top Ten Books I Recently Bought for my Media Center.

Revenge of the Loser by HN KowittThe Loser List #2: Revenge of the Loser by H.N. Kowitt

Danny Shine might have gotten his name off the Loser List in the girls’ bathroom, but he’s still got problems — like the new kid, Ty Randall. Ty seems perfect: handsome, serious, committed to worthy causes — everything Danny’s not. Will out-of-control jealousy wreck Danny’s life, or can he undo the damage before it’s too late?

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.

Drought by Pam BachorzDrought by Pam Bachorz

Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved. She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood. So she stays. But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Vietnam: Sharpshooter by Chris LynchVietnam #2: Sharpshooter by Chris Lynch

Of all his friends, Ivan is the only one looking forward to war. That’s because Ivan has never backed down from a fight–especially when it comes to fighting for what’s right. He has protected his friends from bullies for years. And now, as war erupts in Vietnam, Ivan wants nothing more than to fight for his country, just as his father did in World War II. Enlisting in the United States Army, Ivan is trained to be a sniper. And he’s good at it. Very good. But Vietnam is not the war he was expecting. Somehow the glory and heroism of his father’s war stories do not come so easily in the jungle.

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh BaskinThe Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Julia and Eliza are best friends. Julia’s mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq, and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza’s father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither of them is prepared for how it impacts their friendship, and Julia has to cope with the possibility of being separated from yet another person she loves.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenChomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . .

The False Prince by Jennifer A NielsenThe False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Zit Face by Emily HowseZit Face by Emily Howse

Thirteen-year-old Olivia Hughes knows what she wants to do with her life—be an actress. And she’s already on her way. She just landed a national ad campaign that should get her noticed. But then her luck runs out. A little pimple turns into a full-blown case of acne, with serious side effects for her career, relationships, and budding romance with J.W., the new guy at school. Now all Olivia wants to do is hide, but she can’t. She goes from being the girl at school everyone wants to be…to Zitface, a girl who is teased, dumped, and even fired. What do you do when you’ve lost control of everything in your life? Olivia has to find out the hard way. And maybe what she finds isn’t so bad after all.

 

The Boy on Cinammon Street by Phoebe StoneThe Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won’t give up on her. Seventh grader Louise should be the captain of her school’s gymnastics team – but she isn’t. She’s fun and cute and should have lots of friends – but she doesn’t. And there’s a dreamy boy who has a crush on her – but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her – so what is it that’s holding her back?

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . .

Aren’t these a great looking bunch of books?! I can’t wait to read them all and share them with my students!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Introducing the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Books

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish and is intended to help book bloggers socialize and showcase books! This week’s official theme is Favorite Quotes from Books, but I can’t think of any to talk about other than a favorite from Pride and Prejudice, that helps me feel better about life at times:

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?” -Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

So, since I can’t think of too many quotes from books, so I’ve decided to highlight the ten fifteen 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Books. Sunshine State books are middle grade books selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and or multicultural representation. The goal of the Sunshine State book list is to encourage students to read independently for pleasure.

As a middle school Media Specialist, my job is to read all fifteen books so I can promote these titles during the school year; I’m going to get really familiar with these books over the next year! Well, here we go; the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State books!

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen

Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker’s Bowling Paradise. But while Lamar’s a whiz at rolling strikes, he always strikes out with girls. And his brother, Xavier the Basketball Savior, is no help. Xavier earns trophy after trophy on the basketball court and soaks up Dad’s attention, leaving no room for Lamar’s problems. Until bad boy Billy Jenks convinces Lamar that hustling at the alley will help him win his dream girl, plus earn him enough money to buy an expensive pro ball and impress celebrity bowler Bubba Sanders. But when Billy’s scheme goes awry, Lamar ends up ruining his brother’s shot at college and every relationship in his life. Can Lamar figure out how to mend his broken ties, no matter what the cost?

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

Wild Things
by Clay Carmichael

A headstrong girl. A stray cat. A wild boy. A man who plays with fire. Eleven-year-old Zoe trusts no one. Her father left before she was born. At the death of her irresponsible mother, Zoe goes to live with her uncle, former surgeon and famed metal sculptor Dr. Henry Royster. She’s sure Henry will fail her as everyone else has. Reclusive since his wife’s death, Henry takes Zoe to Sugar Hill, North Carolina, where he welds sculptures as stormy as his moods. Zoe and Henry have much in common: brains, fiery and creative natures, and badly broken hearts. Zoe confronts small-town prejudice with a quick temper. She warms to Henry’s odd but devoted friends, meets a mysterious teenage boy living wild in the neighboring woods, and works to win the trust of a feral cat while struggling to trust in anyone herself. Zoe’s questing spirit leads her to uncover the wild boy’s identity, lay bare a local lie, and begin to understand the true power of Henry’s art. Then one decisive night, she and the boy risk everything in a reckless act of heroism.

Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese

Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber)
by P.W. Catanese

Twelve-year-old Happenstance awakens in a cave with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Soon a mysterious trio arrives to take him away: the explorer Umber, the shy archer Sophie, and Oates, whose strength and honesty are both brutal. Hap and his new acquaintances narrowly escape the cavernous underworld and make their way to Lord Umber’s bustling jewel of a harbor city, Kurahaven. Once there, Hap learns that Lord Umber is an extraordinary man — he’s a merchant, adventurer, inventor, royal adviser, and chronicler of all things monstrous and magical. But Umber’s accomplishments can’t answer the question closest to the boy’s heart: Who is Happenstance? Desperate to uncover clues in his new, baffling surroundings, Hap accompanies Umber on dangerous and unusual missions. But Hap soon learns that there are powerful enemies inside the kingdom, and a ruthless assassin is hot on his trail. Faced with many unknowns, Hap knows one thing is certain: There’s a reason Umber has chosen him…if only he could determine it.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

90 Miles to Havana
by Enrique Flores-Galbis

When Julian’s parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

It takes a graveyard to raise a child. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.

Hide and Seek by Katy Grant

Hide and Seek
by Katy Grant

Thirteen-year-old Chase, a geocaching enthusiast, must constantly rely on his wits to solve unexpected problems. This outdoor adventure and boy’s coming of age story is set in the remote, rugged mountains of northern Arizona.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading
by Tommy Greenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.This is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

The Juvie Three
by Gordon Korman

Three boys serving time in juvenile detention are given a second chance in the form of Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent who is running an experimental halfway house. After Healy is knocked unconscious trying to break up a scuffle among the boys, they hatch a crazy scheme so they won’t be sent back to juvie.

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
by Linda Sue Park

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.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick


The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg
by Rodman Philbrick

Master storyteller Rodman Philbrick takes readers on a colorful journey as young Homer Figg sets off to follow his brother into the thick of the Civil War. Through a series of fascinating events, Homer’s older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X
by James Patterson

Yes, it’s true: Daniel X is special. X-traordinarily special. He may be just a kid, but Daniel is strong enough to fight anything in the world. And it’s a good thing, because not many guys you meet have a host of deadly criminals hunting them to the ends of the Earth. And none of them are extraterrestrials. Daniel is the only one who might be able to eliminate every last intergalactic evil on the List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma. Because the greatest superpower isn’t to be part spider and part man, or to cast magic spells – the ultimate gift is the power to create.

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My Fair Godmother
by Janette Rallison

Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair because she’s not a very good fairy student; Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Lost in the River of Grass
by Ginny Rorby

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an air boat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive. Lost in the River of Grass takes on the classic survival genre using one of the country’s most unique wild places as a backdrop. In this tense, character-driven thriller, Sarah must overcome prejudice and the unforgiving wilderness in a struggle to survive.

The Trouble with Half a Moon by  Danette Vigilante

The Trouble with Half a Moon
by Danette Vigilante

Ever since her brother’s death, Dellie’s life has been quiet and sad. Her mother cries all the time and Dellie lives with the horrible guilt that the accident that killed her brother may have been all her fault. But Dellie’s world begins to change when new neighbors move into her housing project building. Suddenly men are fighting on the stoop and gunfire is sounding off in the night. In the middle of all that trouble is Corey, an abused five-year-old boy, who’s often left home alone and hungry. Dellie strikes up a dangerous friendship with this little boy who reminds her so much of her brother. She wonders if she can do for Corey what she couldn’t do for her brother-save him.

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach
by Brenda Woods

Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists. His best friend is a stray dog named Shadow, and it’s because of Shadow that Saint’s still in town when Hurricane Katrina hits. Saint’s not worried about the hurricane at first – he plans to live to be a hundred just to defy his palm-reader friend Jupi, who told him he had a short life line. But now the city has been ordered to evacuate and Saint won’t leave without Shadow. His search brings him to his elderly neighbor’s home and the three of them flee to her attic when the waters rise. But when Miz Moran’s medication runs out, it’s up to Saint to save her life – and his beloved Shadow’s.