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Sadly, Not Much to Offer:The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Welcome back friends!

I was lucky enough to met author Gordon Korman a few years ago, and he was such a friendly and humble individual! He’s one of my librarian crushes, I have to admit.  My students adore his books, mostly because he is a good storyteller and writes interesting and funny characters, but I was a little disappointed with The Hypnotists.The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

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Jackson Opus has always been persuasive, but he doesn’t know that he’s descended from the two most powerful hypnotist bloodlines on the planet. He’s excited to be accepted into a special program at the Sentia Institute — but when he realizes he’s in over his head, Jackson will have to find a way to use his powers to save his friends, his parents, and his government.

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The world Jax (Jackson) lives in mirrors our own but with one big difference, some people have hypnotic powers. Overall, The Hypnotists was an interesting idea, but was also completely unbelievable and what it was lacking is the follow through to make be believe it.

The pacing of the story was quick and a lot of action happens, especially in the first few chapters where we meet Jax on a seemingly out of control bus speeding through the city streets. Adventure and action scenes like this are one of Korman’s strong points but unfortunately it’s the only thing that this book has to offer.

I’m sad to say that the majority of the characters, Jackson included, are not well developed, which is unusual for Korman. Jackson goes from being naive to knowledgeable and wavers between the two the whole time. I found myself more than halfway through the book when I suddenly realized that I just didn’t care about Jax or saving the world from evil hypnotists. Really. And because I had read so much of the book already, and I feel loyal to the author, from that point on I was skimmed the pages just so I could finish it.

I was disappointed in my usually awesome Gordon Korman, but The Hypnotists just doesn’t have much to offer the reader other than a few exciting action scenes and I wouldn’t make this book your introduction to Korman’s books. I do think some of my students will still enjoy anything written by this author because of his normally great track record, and the quick pacing might really appeal to reluctant readers, but I doubt that I’ll be doing much recommending of this one in my library, which is a shame.

Author: Gordon Korman

Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 1, 2013)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 232 pages

Series: First book in The Hypnotists series

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

Hi there!

I have a real issue with not finishing books. If I make that decision to actually stop reading and put it down that choice stays with me forever. It feels like a little mini failure that plagues me! One time, however, a fellow book blogger (and I honestly can’t remember who it was) said that she doesn’t worry about not finishing books.  She said that there are too many books she wants to read that she isn’t going to waste time with books she isn’t enjoying.

This really resonated with me, but alas sometimes I just can’t give up on a book.  Sometimes it turns out to be a surprise and I actually end up enjoying the book, but other times I’m let down.  So, today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I Almost Put Down but Didn’t”.  It’s going to be a mix of those I am glad I finished and those I regret finishing.

Those I Should’ve Put Down, But Didn’t

These are the books I kept pushing through thinking “Surely, I’m going to end up liking this.” Nope.

Fallen by Lauren KateFallen by Lauren Kate

The Hypnotists by Gordon KormanThe Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Those I’m Glad I Kept Reading

These were books I wasn’t necessarily in love with when I began them, but in the end, am glad I stuck around to finish them because some of them have become books I love!

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAlong for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

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Reading Queue: April

The Reading QueueHello!

Holy junk April surprised the heck out of me! One day it was March and the next….BAM! APRIL!

I guess that’s how it happens though isn’t it? haha

Well, I’m back and ready to bring you a brand new Reading Queue…even if it is a few days late!

What is the Reading Queue?  The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hola!) and Books: A true story where we share our reading plans for the month. You can check out other participating blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

What I Read in March

March was a really good reading month for me! I was able to finish eight books, which is two more than my average six! Now, I’m counting one I Did Not Finish (DNF) because it’s my list and I can! haha

The Lord of Opium by NancyFarmerThe Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer (DNF)

Maybe it’s because I didn’t read House of the Scorpion, but I just couldn’t get into this one.

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This was a very cute contemporary filled with family and romance.

Jessica Darling's It List by Megan McCaffertyJessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection by Megan McCafferty

I haven’t read the original Jessica Darling books, but I know now I must!

Skybreaker by Kenneth OppellSkybreaker (Matt Cruise #2) by Kenneth Oppel

Starclimber by Kenneth OppelStarclimber (Matt Cruise #3) by Kenneth Oppel

This series is one of my new favorites!

March Book One by John LewisMarch (Book One) by John Lewis

Civil Rights history in graphic novel form! I loved it!

Serafina's Promise by Ann E BurgSerafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

This novel in verse was beautiful.

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. NielsenThe Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I really enjoyed this trilogy a lot!

My April Reading Queue

There are so many books I want to read so badly this month! I’ve already started three of them, so I’m hopeful about my goal of ten!

The Flame in the Mist by Kit GrindstaffThe Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff

The Boy Problem by Kami KinardThe Boy Problem by Kami Kinard

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl

Half a Chance by Cynthia LordHalf a Chance by Cynthia Lord

The Hypnotists by Gordon KormanThe Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Ghost Hawk by Susan CooperGhost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Manor of Secrets by Katherine LongshoreManor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

TheTimeFetchThe Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

Better to Wish by Ann M. MartinBetter to Wish by Ann M. Martin

Doll Bones by Holly BlackDolly Bones by Holly Black

There you have it! Have you read any of the title on my April Reading Queue?  Please feel free to link up and join us this month! I’d love to check out your Reading Queue too!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Keep ‘em Coming!

Oh Hi!

Welcome back to BookTasty where I participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Have you ever loved a story and it’s characters so much that you just wanted more?! Well, I have definitely finished a book and thought, “okay…now give me a sequel!” only to find out that there is no sequel….NOOOOOO!

I know that not every book can be part of a series or even a trilogy and that some people get annoyed with the seemingly overabundance of series today, especially in the MG and YA world. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is refreshing to read a story and be done with it, but I really love series because they allow me to spend more quality time with those characters I love. So, today I want to share some titles that I wish would just keep ‘em coming!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Époque by Elizabeth Ross

Now, this one is a debut and Ross could have another one in the works, but as of now I know nothing.

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Unfortunately author Zinn passed away before the book was published so we’ll never have another book with these characters.

A Northern Light by Jennifer DonnellyA Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I just want to know what happens next!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

This is another debut that could have a sequel coming…? Please?!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I just love this world so much I want more…MORE!!!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanThe Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

It would be really interesting to see what happens to these boys as their time with Doug Healy progresses.

Austenland by Shannon HaleAustenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Okay, so Midnight in Austenland IS a sequel but, like Ariel, I WANT MOOOOOOOORE!

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

This world is so amazing that again, see above.

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAll of Sarah Dessen’s books

Can we just have a huge mashup book where all the characters meet and hang out and like I don’t know, go to college together in Colby or something?!

JaneAustenRuinedMyLifeJane Austen Ruined my Life by Beth Pattillo

Okay, so I think there is a sequelish companion novel to this one, but it’s a different character. I want the same character doing more of what she did in this book! (Not YA)

What about you? Are there any standalones that you particularly wish there was a sequel to?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Book Fest

Well hey there!
I hope all is going well! I’m currently in Europe on vacation (I know right?!) so you won’t see me on Twitter or posting anything but my regularly scheduled posts.

So, now let’s get down to business!  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where they post a theme and book bloggers near and far create bookish lists related to that theme. This week’s theme, in honor of Thanksgiving, is Top Ten Books or Authors I’m Thankful For. All of the authors on this list are all authors whose books make me smile and wish for more!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Austen: Need I say more?! We should all bow down to her genius!

Ally Carter: I want to live in her books so bad!

Shannon Hale: She is the queen of retold fairy tales and the worlds she creates are magical!Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Cassandra Clare: Her books helped me realize that I really enjoy supernatural fiction. Also she created Will Herondale, my favorite Welsh Shadowhunter! *squeeee!*

Veronica Roth: For writing a dystopian novel that rivals my beloved Hunger Games…seriously the Divergent books are THAT good.

Gordon Korman: I heart him and the fact that my students adore his books!

Rick Riordan: This guy knows exactly what my students want! Thank you for writing fabulous stories!

Jeff Kinney: For writing a new Wimpy Kid book every year because my circulation increases every time a new one is released (because my students are salivating over his books)!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff KinneyStephanie Perkins: For writing romances that make me want to hibernate in my house for days until I finish reading (and maybe rereading) them.

Heather Brewer: I’m thankful for Vlad Tod…this series made me realize, that okay…I do like vampires!

So, seriously if you are an author and your name is on the above list…THANK YOU so much for your wonderful books! They make my world (and my students’ world) a much better place!

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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?

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Tangible Hope: The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Hola!

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman was the fifth Florida Sunshine book I’ve read this summer, which means that I still have ten more to go before I’ve read all fifteen!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanGecko Fosse drove the getaway car. Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago. Arjay Moran killed someone.

All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy.  A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.

Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys.  Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away.  But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house.  Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left.  They will go to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy’s memory returns and he can resume his place with them. But life keeps getting in the way…like when Gecko finds romance.  Or Arjay gets famous. Or Terence starts reverting to his old ways.  If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.

I need to start this by saying that I love Gordon Korman.  I’ve read some of his other books and got to meet him at the FAME Conference this past November.  It was there that I realized I have a pretty decent sized crush on him! Le sigh…

Anyway before I delve deeper into that lets focus back on The Juvie Three.  I didn’t get into this book right away.  It was almost three-fourths of the way through the book that I was finally excited to figure out what happened next.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the story, but I just kept getting distracted by other books because this one isn’t as glamorous as some of the Young Adult titles out there and it’s difficult for me to read about teens with troubled pasts. However, now that I’ve read it I’m really glad I did.

It isn’t Korman’s usual humorous novel, but although The Juvie Three deals with a more serious subject than his other books he still manages to slide some humor in there as well. Even after all the baggage and trouble these boys have gone through they’re still just kids who enjoy having fun despite not being used to it at all. The boys, are all pretty realistic and easily relateable and I really think my students will feel a connection between these regular teenage guys.

Although some of the plot is a little improbable at times, the book left me with an overall feeling of hope.  The boys still have a long road ahead and unfortunately will have to deal with their pasts for many years to come, but hope is there. It is tangible.  As an educator this story is one that reminded me why I do what I do.  It’s so that I can help my students see just how tangible that hope is in their lives and futures.

All in all I think my students, especially my boys, will enjoy reading about Gecko, Arjay and Terence and their adventures (I guess that’s what you call it!) with Doug Healy.  I recommend The Juvie Three, and pretty much anything else by Gordon Korman, to middle school readers (especially guys) and up!

Author: Gordon Korman

Publisher: Hyperion Books (September 2, 2008)

Format: Hardcover, library bound

Length: 256 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Juvie Three

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Tasty Treats (2)

Well good morning everyone and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

(Do any dad’s read my blog?  If so, let me know!)

Getting new books is like getting tasty treats that I can’t wait to devour, hence the name of this post “Tasty Treats”! (I am working on a Tasty Treats banner…well my husband is working on it for me!)   This morning I wanted to share all the fun books and audiobooks I got-my-hands-on this past week. So what are we waiting for!?

Tasty Treats Stack

Every thing in this stack is a title on the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Book List.  These are some of the books I need to read since I’m a school Media Specialist and the Battle of the Books team coach.  Not only will I be reading and reviewing these books over the summer, but I’ll also be writing a ton of trivia questions from each book for my team to study. Lets look at the covers shall we?

The following titles are the Sunshine State books that I already had in my Media Center catalog.

Sunshine State Books

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Some of the books on the list were not already ones I had in my Media Center, so I’ve had to go buy them, like the books below.

More Sunshine State Books

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

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

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

I addition to all these middle grades titles I also needed some Young Adult audiobooks in my life.  If I read just YA or just MG I get kinda bored with the one genre, so I have to mix it up now and then.  Since the summer is a time full of middle grade reading,  and I needed some new audiobooks to listen to while running, I decided to pick up some YA listens from my local public library.

Beastly and If I Stay

Beastly by Alex Flinn (currently listening to)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

So, there you have it – my recently received tasty treats! I know I’ll be having fun attacking these over the next few weeks!  What fun reads did you get this week?

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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.

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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! :)