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In My Mailbox (8)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren with the purpose of helping bloggers get to know each other and to highlight books!

This was was slow in the receiving book department, but not in the totally fun and awesome book related goodies department!

Obviously, the world knows that The Hunger Games movie comes out this coming Friday, March 23 at 12:01 a.m.!!! *squeals with anticipation*

My husband and I have our tickets to the midnight showing and this will be the first midnight showing we’ve ever gone to before!  I’m super excited and can’t stop watching the trailers.

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Well, on Thursday the 22nd, I get to host a Hunger Games party in my school’s Media Center!  We have about 65 students attending and are going to be doing some fun activities.  But with that I’ve also had to get a hold of awesome raffle/giveaway prizes for the students.  So, of course I’ve hit up Barnes and Noble and Hot Topic to purchase some fun Hunger Games paraphernalia.

I also  contacted Lionsgate Films and asked for some free movie promotional materials to give to my students, and a few days later got a response saying they’d send some posters.  I expected like maybe two or three posters, so imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found 10 movie posters, a pack of 50 Hunger Games lanyards, and 50 3-D Katniss bookmarks!!  So, a humongous thank you (THANK YOU!!) to Lionsgate Films for sending these to my students!  With all this swag everyone will leave the party with at least one cool Hunger Games item!

Earlier I mentioned that I went shopping for some cool Hunger Games merchandise.  20120317-235642.jpgI got a cool Peeta and Katniss mug and some bookmarks, a mockingjay sweat band bracelet, a Gale key chain and a journal .  I’ll also be getting two movie tickets for one lucky student.  But in the mix of my Hunger Games shopping extravaganza, I had to treat myself to a mockingjay t-shirt.  So I did.

Yeaaa!!!

So, no books this week, which is okay because I have so much I already want to read sitting on my To Read Shelf.

What was in your mailbox this week?  I look forward to reading about what fun goodies everyone else received!

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Look What I Made

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Last Friday we went on a little double date with some friends at a paint your own pottery place. I knew I wanted to create something bookish but couldn’t decide on the Vladimir Tod smiley or the Hunger Games mockingjay. Well, as you can see I decided to attempt the majorly more detailed mockingjay.

I was so nervous about it coming out right because it was a detailed process. I had to draw it, then trace it on tracing paper. Then I had to tape it on the mug, trace over it with a felt marker, then remove the paper and paint the design. I think it came out pretty good!

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Movie Update: The Official Hunger Games Movie Trailer

This morning Lionsgate premiered the official trailer for The Hunger Games movie on Goodmorning America. If you haven’t watched it yet, go for it!

This just gets me so excited; everything looks amazing! First the characters, Jennifer Lawrence just looks amazing and I get goosebumps when she volunteers to take Prim’s place at the Reaping (and I’ve seen it like six times now!). Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket looks and sounds perfect; the over-the-top hair and make up with the obnoxious sing-song voice are exactly what I’ve imagined!

I LOVE the scenery! District 12 looks just as it should, like a dingy and poverty stricken mining town. And the extras at the Reaping? The 1940s style clothing brings images of Europe during Nazi occupation to my mind, which makes so much sense!

I’m impressed that they didn’t show us too much of Katniss in her Girl on Fire costume and I’m hoping they won’t so we can be just as awe struck as the people of the Capitol when she enters! Plus I’m glad that this trailer doesn’t pay much attention to the romantic triangle, because although I love that piece of the plot (LOVE!) it’s not the thing that makes the story as great as it is.

Now that you’ve seen it, what do you think?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Read

My school uses Accelerated Reader to promote reading, as well as to hold students accountable for what they actually read.   I have an app on my phone that tells me how many AR quizzes have been taken and what books they’ve been taken on.

As of today (the 13th day of the month) 135 books have been read and quizzed on.  Today’s Top Ten will be the most recent books read at my school.  Approved by 6-8th graders in Orlando. :)

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Big Nate Strikes Again by Lincoln Pierce

Rules by Cynthia Lord

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Graphic Novel) by M.C. Hall

Secrets in the Shadows by Anne Schraff

The Phantom Menace: Volume 4 (Graphic Novel) 

Someone to Love Me by Anne Schraff

Guitar Girl by Sara Manning

P.S. I’m going to the annual Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference again this year.  Last year I met authors Jessica Day George, Margaret Peterson Haddix and Caroline B. Cooney!  (I’ll find my pics and post them soon)  This year Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, and James Preller will be there!  It’s in October, so hopefully I’ll have pictures to post!

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If You Hunger for Quality: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Honestly for a few months I saw this book in stores and thought, “That looks too intense.  Not for me.”  Then, when I realized “The Hunger Games” was something I needed to read if I was going to be up-to-date with the world of YA Fiction, I got the audiobook.
OH. MY. GOSH.
Within a few chapters I realized this book was not just some throw away.  My husband and I were riveted to this story!
Katniss, the heroine, lives in District 12,  one of the districts in Panem, a futuristic distopian version of the United States.  To remind the 12 districts of their failed revolt and that the Capitol is in complete control over their lives the Capitol requires each district to send two teenagers to the annual Hunger Games where they will fight to the death.  A fight to the death that is broadcast on national television twenty four hours a day.
This year, Katniss’s little sister, Prim, is selected, and Katniss surprises everyone by volunteering to take Prim’s place, and fight alongside the other District 12 Tribute, Peeta.

I will admit, although the lead up to the Games is interesting, it can also be slow at times. When the Games themselves start, however, this book is completely impossible to put down. Katniss is such a strong female character; tough but vulnerable,clever but unwilling to be used as the Capitol’s toy.  Who are her friends and who are her enemies? Can Katniss possibly win against 23 other competitors, many of whom are better-trained? Will she be forced to let Prim and District 12 down?

This is the first in a trilogy. I have read all three (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) and they’re just as mesmerizing as the first. Katniss, despite her faults, wins you over. As does Peeta, “the boy with the bread”.   It is so refreshing to find such a fiercely loyal, honest, and lovable heroine.  She may even be one of the most well written characters in modern Young Adult literature.

The book is exciting, riveting, and at times scary.  Yes there is quite a bit of violence involving teens.  Suzanne Collins does not include this violence unnecessarily however.  The point of this, at times graphic, violence is to illustrate just how disturbing it is.  Even more so, how disturbing it is when viewed as entertainment on nonstop reality television.

If I’ve frightened you with the talk of violence…wait!!  There is also a love triangle!  YES!! Katniss is caught between her feelings for Peeta, the boy who’s loved Katniss from afar for years, or Gayle, Katniss’ loyal best friend.

In my opinion, this book is for 6th grade and up.  Some of the violence may be too intense for anything younger.  Also, some of the concepts (distopia, critique of reality T.V. etc…) may be to mature for anything younger than 6th grade.