Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

One of the first adolescent novels I have read this year was Ghost by Jason Reynolds.  Though I only liked the book, I would highly recommend it to my students.  Ghost is a character with plenty of natural running talent who accidentally ends up on a top-notch track team.  His story is tragic and his life somewhat haunting; yet, the mentoring and friendships formed by the end of the book are hopeful, realistic, and uplifting.

I didn't make the connection that Jason Reynolds also wrote The Boy in the Black Suit--another book I have read and loved.  If memory serves me correctly, The Boy in the Black Suit is more an upper middle school/high school age book.  I would put Ghost in the hands of students in fifth through eighth grade.  Visit Jason Reynolds's author site for more information--click HERE.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

In The Shadow of Lakecrest

I actually read the Kindle First selection I made DURING the month it was available.  The book I chose this month was Elizabeth Blackwell's In the Shadow of Lakecrest.

I'm getting ready to do a cooperative Roaring 20's project at school, so I thought the 1928 setting would be a nice adult compliment.  I gave this book four stars (of five), but more like a 3.5.  The book had a great plot, but I never connected with the characters.

Strange, to think that was the first word my future husband ever spoke to me, as if he were warning me away from what was to come.

Well--you both should have run away from each other.  There was much conflict in this novel, but I felt the characters' reactions were underplayed and underdeveloped.  My husband nearly killed me.  Oh well.  I forgive him.  Let's spoon and go back to sleep.

I did love the overall creepy, mysterious tone of the novel--pretty dark, but in a well done way that propelled the story and not hovered over me like a dark cloud.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year & a Re-Start

I was reading some book blogs, and many of the 2017 reading challenges have sign-ups with links to other blogs.  I've decided (over the past four or five months) that I need to start writing more to reach a long-term goal--I haven't added anything in 2.5 years to this blog.

So I will start by combining my love for reading with these challenges.  I don't do "New Year's Resolutions," but I have set a goal of a minimum of one post per week.  Ideally, there will be a couple since I read about 100 or so books a year.

Monday, June 30, 2014

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

I sat in the library one afternoon for about two hours looking at picture books.  Sometimes I find books I can use with my older students.  I also just love the use of language and the use of art found in so many of these books.  One book I came across was When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill.  Illustrations were by Theodore Taylor III.

This is a non-fiction picture book.  It would be great if teachers could do this in reading and music class.  I am not schooled on the background of Hip Hop, but this book is a great introduction.  

Three Times Lucky

I have a stack of books I brought home to read this summer.  The more I read, the better I can recommend books to my students.  Wish my other ELA counterparts felt the same way . . . but I digress.  I chose Three Times Lucky from my stack because 1) it was a Newbery Honor I had not yet read;  2) it was one of the shorter books which I needed for my time frame; and  3) I loved the cover art (more on that later).  This book was wonderful!  I would highly recommend it to most any of my junior high students.  I loved the small town setting of Turnage's novel.  I loved the feisty protagonist--Miss Moses LoBeau (aka "Mo").  It had mystery.  It had action.  I was full of love.  Great book!

I loved the way Sheila Turnage revealed the story.  She has another book out (released February 2014) called The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing which I may try to sneak in before school starts.  Turnage's website may be found by clicking HERE.  Interesting thing about her site, it just barely mentions that she won the 2013 Newbery Honor for Three Times Lucky.  Love humility!

Gilbert Ford did the cover art for this novel.  His website may be found by clicking HERE.  He created the cover for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (another book on my To-Read list).  Mr. Ferris and His Wheel, which will be released in September 2014, is his latest illustrated book.