Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reading Challenges for 2012

I am looking forward to joining a few YA reading challenges to inspire me to continue this journey. Please, if you are hosting one, post here and let me know! I will list the ones I am in and post buttons/links for them if available.


Here's the first one:
Red Button

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Giants vs. Patriots

Giants vs. Patriots.... no, not the Superbowl... books!

I thought since we know the match-up, I would have a little fun!

Books with or about GIANTS:

Neil Gaiman: Odd and the Frost Giants

JK Rowling: Harry Potter Series

Hilary Mantel: The Giant, O'Brien

Books with or about PATRIOTS:

Gary L. Blackwood: The Year of the Hangman

L.M. Elliott: Annie, Between the States

Gary D. Schmidt: Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster Boy

And just in case you really wanted football books...

Michael M. Lewis: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

Catherine Gilbert Murdock: Dairy Queen

Carl Deuker: Payback Time

Saturday, January 21, 2012

And So it Begins...

This semester I am taking Materials for Adolescents. It looks like I have (get) to read 16 books in 15 weeks! Given the parameters of the first reading unit, I chose the books below. 

Now I would like your feedback on them! For any of the Award Winners, if you have a better suggestion from the list, PLEASE let me know! While I have been looking for an excuse to read/listen to Will Grayson, Will Grayson for eons, I am flying blind on many of the rest. As this semester continues, I will be asking for your input for other books I need to choose.

Chinese Handcuffs - Chris Crutcher - required to read a Chris Crutcher book

The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier - Chosen for us

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson - Chosen for us

The Color of Magic (Discworld 1) - Terry Pratchett - required to read a Terry Pratchett book (Edwards Award winner)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - audiobook - John Green & David Levithan - had to pick an Odyssey Award winner from 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz - A.S. King - had to pick a Printz Award winner or honor book from 2011

The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To - D.C. Pierson - had to pick an Alex Award winner from 2011

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

People in Glass Houses

The Lit
Not all is as it seems in the Greene’s modern glass home. From the outside, sisters Annabel, Whitney and Kirsten Greene look perfect. All three are models, and Annabel starred in a commercial as the high school girl who has everything. Under the surface though, it’s an entirely different story.

Sarah Dessen's Just Listen takes a look inside the glass house. Whitney has an eating disorder which she doesn’t want to acknowledge, Kirsten is the oldest and doesn’t want to model anymore, and then there’s Annabel. After her best friend dumps her, Annabel spends her summer in a self-imposed social exile. She starts her junior year alone and friendless. Sitting alone at lunch, Annabel meets Owen, a tall, music-obsessed, “bad-boy” who teaches her about what it means to be honest. Through their friendship Annabel finds her voice and begins to use it.

The Flit

One of the things I love about Sarah Dessen’s books is that, while they can be predictable, I always find characters with whom I can identify.

People-pleasing Annabel can’t stand to disappoint. She goes to great lengths in order to keep up appearances, even if it means lying. Avoidance is her modus operandi. She avoids what happened at a party before the summer; she avoids Clarke, her childhood best friend; she avoids dealing with Whitney’s eating disorder; she avoids telling her mother she no longer wants to model. She learns from Owen that lies by omission are still lies.

I used to believe that everyone had to like me or agree with me. I wish I had “an Owen” to inspire me to live in complete honesty, not mean-spirited, unsolicited criticism masquerading as honesty, but the kind that enables me to take ownership of my feelings and opinions. It has taken me a long time begin to understand that I have to respect myself, and I can’t avoid situations hoping that they will magically change. In facing things as they really are, I learn to accept them and, as Annabel does, become the person I am supposed to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

How do I want to approach my reviews?

I thought about this long and hard. How will I approach these reviews (and whatever else I post)?

I thought about a rating system... 5 stars, A/B/C, 1-5... what would I use? Stars remind me of movies and restaurants, grades remind me that I am in Grad School and I just don't want to think about grades and a numerical system for predominantly written medium seems ridiculous.

Books are such personal things for me. While some of what I read would be considered crap by a "professional reviewer" it lets me escape into cheesy romance or mystery for a while. I also enjoy classic books and those considered "excellent" by others.

I have decided that I will offer a plot summary (Lit) and my thoughts about it (Flit). This will allow you to make up your own mind about its "rating". What may make a book a 5-star, A+, 5 super star to me, may make you run screaming (and vice versa).

Thanks for reading and PLEASE, join my blog and feel free to comment!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Video Book Trailers

Hello World!

I figured that I would start out this blog by uploading some video book trailers I created for my local library as part of my Master's Degree in Library Science.

What are your favorite book trailers? I'd love to hear from all of you and see more trailers!

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Written in Bone - Sally M. Walker

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Great and Only Barnum - Candace Fleming