12

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

Well hello there!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week they post a theme to create out weekly lists around.  This week this theme is Most Intimidating Books.

So, I was thinking…what makes a book intimidating? Is it size? Is it content? Is it hype?  Yes. Yes. And Yes. I think it can be all of these things, at least it can be for me. So, which books have I been so intimidated by that I’ve kept my distance?

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreBitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I loved Graceling and Fire so I thought, surely I’ll devour Bitterblue. But then I saw just how big it was. You see, I listened to the other two companion books on audio so I never saw just how long they were. Bitterblue is scary! I’m waiting until I find it on audio.

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

Two kids dying of cancer fall in love? Cry me a river! No, seriously. If I read this I’d cry a river…and we all now how I feel about books that want to make me cry…I don’t like them. So I’ve stayed away.

Copper Sun by Sharon DraperCopper Sun by Sharon Draper

The whole idea of what reality would have been like only a few hundred years ago for some of my students is so heart wrenching I can’t handle it. I don’t hide from it, because I’m very aware of those realities, but I don’t want to read fiction about it…too much.

The Book Thief by Marcus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is another one that is just too much. I have a vague understanding that this one takes place during the Holocaust. Again, I’m afraid of crying books.

VampireAcademy by Richelle MeadVampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I want to read this one, but if I do there is a whole series of like a million books that I know I’ll want to finish.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonWinter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson

An award-winning story about a girl struggling with anorexia and recovery. Talk about intensity!

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

An award winning book about a girl with a terrible secret about one night at a party…I know what this is about…and it wants to make me cry…

MightyMissMalone by Christopher Paul CurtisThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

This one is so long…but I’ve heard wonderful things.

Skinny by Donna CoonerSkinny by Donna Conner

Too emotionally close to home. I don’t really want my own body image issues coming to the surface, which is what I know will happen if I read this book…

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. PearsonThe Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

This one is (surprise) not a crying book. But it sounds so strange and unlike my preferred reads I am always drawn to it, yet have still not read it.

Now, I have to clarify…I have heard AMAZING things about all of these books. Some are award winners, while others are just good books. I have no beef with them other than the fact that they majorly intimidate me. I hope that one day I can be brave enough to read some of them…but until I work up that courage I’ll keep my distance. :)

Please tell me I’m not alone and that some of these books intimidate the bajeezus out of you too!

14

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

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

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

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

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

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper1. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

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

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen2. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

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

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

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

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

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

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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

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

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

Holes by Louis Sachar7. Holes by Louis Sachar

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

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

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

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

What?!  I know.  Everyone loves this one.

10. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

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

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

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

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

Standard
5

Tuesday Top Ten: Books My Students Are Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hatchet by Gary PaulsenHatchet by Gary Paulsen (MG)

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

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

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

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

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

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

0

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 Friday December 16 (the last day of school before the Holiday Break), 625 books have been read and quizzed on.  Here are the ten most recently read titles by my 6th-8th Graders.

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon M. Draper

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier

Captain Underpants and the Big Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy by Dav Pilkey

Shortie Like Mine by Ni-Ni Simone

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

Pendragon: The Rivers of Zadaa by D.J. MacHale

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster by Berkley Breathed

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Vampire Academy by Rebecca Mead

0

Top Ten Tuesday: Books It Seems Everyone Else Has Read But Me

I was off of work last week and enjoying a whole week of Thanksgiving (Yay education!).  So, because of that, my mind ran off and I completely forgot about Top Ten Tuesday.  I must have been swimming in a world of friends, family, books, free time, and good food!  It is what it is!

Since I’ve been blogging on YA and Middle Grades Fiction (almost a year!), I’ve noticed that there are some titles it seems everyone in the YA fiction blogging world has read.  I keep hearing people talk about but I haven’t had the chance to read yet. Too many books and not enough time!  This week’s Top Ten are books everyone else had read but me!

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Matched by Ally Condie

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The Fallen series by Lauren Kate

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I’d better get working on reading these; lots to read…lots to read…

2

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Urban Fiction Titles

I work with awesome kids.  They’re creative, smart, hilarious (sometimes unintentionally so), and just generally good kids.  And just like me, they want to read books with characters they can relate to.  Because our school has really been promoting reading (more so than in the past) over the past two years, I’m having to work hard at keeping current with their reading desires.  What do a lot of my kids want?  Realistic books with characters who look and sound like they do.  What are some of the books they’re devouring and begging me to buy?

The Drama High series by L. Divine

The Bluford High series by various authors

The Good Girlz series by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Adios to All the Drama by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

The So For Real series by Nikki Carter

At the Crossroads  by Travis Hunter

The Kimani Tru series by various authors

The Perry Sky series by Stephanie Perry Moore

The Hazelwood Trilogy by Sharon Draper

The Jericho Trilogy by Sharon Draper

0

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!

4

Tuesday Top Ten: Sports Fiction

My boys at school love sports, as most boys do.  Problem is they will read the same nonfiction sports book over and over again. Not that there is anything wrong with nonfiction. Nonfiction should an incredibly important part of any readers’ reading experience, I just want my boys to branch out into different books.   So, I’ve been trying to push them towards some sports fiction.

In my research I’ve found some titles the students like.  Here they are (in no particular order):

Airball: My Life in Briefs by L.D. Harkrader

Heat by Mike Lupica

Football Hero by Tim Green

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper

Game by Walter Dean Myers

Pop by Gordon Korman

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Schooled by Paul Langdon

Crash by Jerry Spinelli

4

Inside Melody’s Mind: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Melody is eleven years old.  She likes to read.  She has a good sense of humor.  She loves her family, but gets annoyed at her little sister.  Pretty much your average preteen.  But Melody is not average.

First of all she is pretty much a genius.  She has a photographic memory and she not only loves music but she sees and feels colors when she listens to it. Second, Melody has Cerebral Palsy.  She can’t move herself around the room.  She can’t hold her head up straight.  She can’t speak. No one else knows just how intelligent Melody is.  Even her parents, who believed she could learn when no one else did have no idea just how bright their daughter is.

It used to be okay for Melody; she didn’t really mind not being able to share her thoughts. But now, Melody school is trying to start some inclusive education for Melody. During her time in the regular education classrooms Melody befriends a girl named Rose.  Being around the loud and talkative “normal” teens makes Melody realize that she is in fact not okay with her inability to speak.  Its starting to drive her crazy.

With the help of her encouraging neighbor Melody gets her parents to purchase a special computer that speaks whatever Melody types.  Now Melody can finally experience the freedom her classmates take for granted.  But having the ability to communicate isn’t as freeing as Melody thought it would be and not everyone is comfortable with hearing what a girl like Melody has to say.

It took me a long time for me to know what to say about Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  This book was at times pretty tough to read as  I felt like the story was just one sad blow after another.  Especially with the family emergency at the end, which did seem a little out of place. I also got the feeling that ending hinted at the idea that someone living with a disability can never really fit in because of mean/ignorant people; maybe not intended by Sharon Draper (at least I hope not), but I felt it in there.   I kept wondering, what someone with cerebral palsy would actually think of this story; is it realistic? Or too sentimental?  I’d be interested in hearing someone’s opinion on this.

I do believe this book does a great job at showing kids that people are not always what they seem; that those who seem incredibly different or make us feel uncomfortable, are actually living breathing people with real emotions and thoughts and ideas like ours.  Overall, this story made me think of my elementary school friend, Adam.  In 4th grade I received my “license” to push the students in wheelchairs around the play ground.  I don’t know how we got connected, but soon Adam was the only person I’d hang out with during recess.  If I remember correctly Adam had Cerebral Palsy, like Melody, only he could talk.  I’ll never forget the time some kids were making fun of me and he starting screaming at them in my defense.  Adam definitely had his own thoughts and feelings, but unlike Melody he could voice them without a machine.

I can’t imagine the frustrations that come with living with a disability, although Out of My Mind does a good job on shedding some light on them.  I only wish Draper shed more light on the fact that those who live with disabilities also experience joy and victories like everyone else.

0

Tuesday Top Twenty: I Know What you Read this Summer!

Well,  I don’t know what you read this summer, so I can’t write about that.

But, I do know what I read this past summer.  I was busy alright!  This is not a Top Ten today, it’s a list of the twenty (yes twenty) books I read this summer.

1. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

2. Rumors by Anna Godbersen

3. Dark Life by Kat Falls

4. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

5. The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott

6. Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid of Westminster by Berkley Breathed

7. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

8. Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story by Tonya Hegamin and Marilyn Nelson

9. Scat by Carl Hiaasen

10. Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted

11. The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

12. Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

13. Bystander by James Preller

14. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

15. Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival by Arther Slade

16. Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor

17. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

18. One False Note by Gordon Korman

19. I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

20. The Help by Katheryn Stockett  (The only adult fiction I read all summer!)