5

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Art I’d Frame

Hiya!

I totally judge books by their covers! I know it’s wrong…but I don’t care! I just a sucker for a pretty cover and in the YA world there are tons of lovely covers out there, but sometimes you get some that just stand out above the rest.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Cover Art I’d Frame”. I guess if I’m thinking about book cover art as “frameable” I tend to lean towards those that are illustrated. There are probably other cover I’d consider “frameworthy” floating around out there, but here are ten that just stand out as lovely.

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

I love the muted pastel colors and the shape of the girl’s arms.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail CarrigerThe Finishing School series by Gail Garriger

These covers are just so strikingly beautiful that I’d want them hanging in a fancy dressing room, if I was wealthy enough to have a fancy dressing room, that is.

The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

When you look at this cover closely you see just how detailed and gorgeous the brush strokes are.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenAny of Carl Hiassen’s middle grades book covers

The simplicity and vivid colors of his covers just draw me in. They remind me of the paper cutouts of Matisse.

After the Snow by SD CrockettAfter the Snow by S.D. Crockett

I actually haven’t read this book, but I’ve always loved the look of these trees.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This one is prettier without the text over it because the title is covering the horse and rider’s reflection in the water.

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

I love the simplicity of the silhouette and sunset.

The Lion, The WItch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (cover illustrations by Pauline Baynes)

Nothing beats classically illustrated book covers like these.

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Alison Jay)

Jay did the artwork for the first three books in this series and they’re so bulbous and beautiful!

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Tim Zeltner)

This has always been one of my favorite covers. I just adore the touch of whimsy Zeltner’s work has. I actually like his non book covers even better than this!

Well, would you frame any of the book covers I’ve selected this week?

 

1

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Want to Make You Cry

Hi!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) was a difficult one for me. Why you may ask? Well, let me tell you…

…because I don’t do books that want to make me cry.
nope

Nope. I don’t like them at all.

Except that sometimes I make myself read one or two because I am a librarian and it is part of my job to be well read. Unfortunately, I ended up actually liking some of these books, but not because they made me cry…or did they? YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING!

The first five titles on my list are books I’ve read whose sole purpose in publication is to make me cry. All five of these were, in the end, good books that I’d recommend if you prefer an emotional read.

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

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly HuntOne for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt

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

The second half of today’s list is books that I’ve stayed away from because I suspect they’ve been told to make me cry. I’m told they’re all really, really good books, but so far I’ve kept my distance.  If you’re someone who enjoys a good cry while reading then these may be quality suggestions for you!

The Book Thief by Marcus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John BoyneThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

How to Save a Life by Sara ZarrHow to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

So there you have it! Please share which books have turned you into a sob monster (that way I’ll know to stay away from them! haha)

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?

3

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?

1

Perseverance and Hope: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Hello there!

I’m trucking away at reading all fifteen Florida Sunshine State books and A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is the ninth I’ve A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Parkfinished.

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.

Having friends who recently moved to southern Sudan I was intrigued when I saw that this story of Civil War in Sudan made the Sunshine State list this year. I’m going to have to send this book to her because it was a really beautiful read.

Linda Sue Park tells the true story of Salva, a “lost boy”, interwoven with a story of a young girl, Nya in such a way that the reader can’t help but be moved. There is so much sadness and hardship in this book but in Salva and Nya’s stories are also full of perseverance and hope. A Long Walk to Water can be a difficult read at times, as it does detail the horrors and difficulties of war and death, but Parks does not linger on these scenes and her careful timing and inclusion of them makes them that much more powerful.

I would definitely recommend A Long Walk to Water to middle school aged readers to adults. Also, I believe this quick read could be an incredibly helpful book in the classroom to bring more contemporary examples of civil war to students.

Author: Linda Sue Park

Publisher: Clarion Books (November 15, 2010)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 128 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Standard
15

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.