Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reading Aloud

I love to read aloud to students. As a middle school and high school librarian, it doesn't happen very often. That is one of the things that I really missed when I left elementary school and moved to the upper grades. This past week the sixth graders were studying poetry, and I offered to read Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. It is a novel in verse, but I have it shelved in the poetry section. It is a cool story because you know that something is wrong with Lonnie's family situation, but you are not able to figure it out until halfway through the book. It has humor, but it is also very poignant. A sequel has been recently published. The sequel is written in letters rather than verse. I don't have a copy of the sequel yet, but it is on my purchase list.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It has been a long time since I have been able to spend an afternoon reading. Today I got to do that with no interruptions; it was heaven.

I got an advanced reader's copy of This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. She had written two companion books with different characters suffering during the same event, and this third one tied the two together. I loved Life as We Knew It, but I had just never gotten around to reading the second one, The Dead and the Gone. I finished the second book today and immediately started the third.

In a way the books are very creepy. A meteor has struck the moon pushing it closer to earth which has caused havoc around the world with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, etc. The protagonists in each book learn to survive in a world that is topsy turvy. All feeling very much like what Hurricane Katrina did to us in New Orleans, but in the books there is no where to run for safety.

The characters growth is what drives the stories for me. I plan to recommend all three to my students. I love the idea of companion books over sequels. It gives such an interesting perspective to a story.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A New Day, A New Book Read

The other day I completed My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson. The author is a young (to me anyway) male writing from the female protagonist's point of view. That isn't so unusual, but the character Rhonda has a history that she can't forget, and the author does a nice job with her. She is a star student at a private school for mostly African Americans in South Carolina. She gets pregnant in her freshman year and is forced to have an abortion by her father. She spends the rest of high school focusing on academics. The novel begins during her senior year. She reluctantly agrees to tutor a fellow student who happens to be pregnant. The story goes from here. The author does not really take a stance on abortion, but it is a big part of the story. I enjoyed it, and I think my high school girls will too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010









I know that it has been awhile since I have posted. I have no particular excuse. I am trying to finish two books right now. When I was shelving books the other day, I found In Search of Mockingbird by Ellsworth. It came out a couple of years ago, but I have been wanting to read it. Ii is a very quick read, and I am almost finished it. It is set in the 1980's. A teenage girl leaves home in hopes to meet Harper Lee the author of her favorite book and the favorite book of her long dead mother. I am anxious to know if she ever does get to meet the reclusive Lee.






When the new books that I ordered arrived at the beginning of January, I immediately brought home Leviathan by Westerfeld. I was in the midst of another book at the time, so I had to wait to start it. I am now half through this World War I set fantasy. It is a great middle school read for boys and girls who are into technology.
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