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Showing posts from November, 2013

Four Book Reviews by Teens for New YA Novels

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Bookmarked will be ending its run as the resident teen book review group for the bi-weekly online newsletter, SLJTeen,  in December. If you enjoy these reviews by my teens, don't despair because I will be posting reviews from them in this blog. Watch when I tweet out those reviews, or just be sure to visit this blog every now and then to find out what the teens are reading and what they think about those books. You can see by the four book covers pictured here which books were reviewed this past week. Read the November 20th edition of SLJTeen here




Author, Todd Mitchell, Skypes with Bookmarked

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On Monday, November 18th, the members of Bookmarked had the opportunity to talk with author, Todd Mitchell, via Skype. Todd's newest book, Backwards, was published last month. One of my students reviewed the book for SLJTeen, and the author and I made contact through that connection. I encouraged more students to read the book, and I read the book .


The students who had the chance to read the book were very curious about Todd's motivation for writing the story in the way that he did. In the book, the main character is living backwards inside a character who commits suicide. I am not giving away any spoilers because the book begins with the suicide. Todd told us that he will never write a book again with time shifting. He had to meticulously go through and add foreshadowing without giving away important plot points. There was lots of shushing throughout our discussion because the students who had not read the book yet wanted a chance to read it without knowing the final outcom…

Selecting a Title for the Middle School Book Group, BRiMS

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BRiMS, Books Rule in Middle School, met for the third time this year on October 30th. It was an easy decision to decide that horror would be our genre of choice for that particular meeting. Each student selected their own book. We went around the room sharing the titles of the books that we read and explaining why we liked or didn't like the book. Some of the shared books included: Mabury's Rot and Ruin about zombies; dystopian story, Monument 14, by Laybourne; Pit and the Pendulum by Poe, a classic; Croak by Damico which is not too scary but the characters are grim reapers; and the Harry Potter series, which the students thought the movies were scarier than the books. One student shared a story that he read online from creepypasta. He visits that site often to read stories that members can post. Since anyone who joins can post a story, not all the stories are quality, but he enjoys them nonetheless.
The next meeting is going to be in December. For the next scheduled meeting,…

Teens Review New Historical Fiction and Thriller

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When I asked the members of Bookmarked if anyone would be able to contribute to this week's SLJTeen, it was like pulling teeth. Sometimes the students get so overwhelmed with studies that they do not have time to read anything new. The president of Bookmarked realized that she needed to step up to the plate. So she chose a short book that was written in verse. She knew that she could read the book and get a review in to me in time. She is not a big fan of historical fiction, well, none of my students really are. You will be surprised by her review of Mariko Nagai's newest book. Another student was in her sick bed but was able to send me a review of Megan Miranda's thriller, Hysteria. The student didn't realize that the book's publication date was over six months ago. We try to submit SLJTeen reviews for books that have not been published yet. I have four students who promise me reviews for the next issue. SLJTeen is letting us go at the end of the year and a new t…