Monday, July 28, 2014

An Abundance Of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines By: John Green

Colin is not your typical teenager, he is brilliant but lacks social skills.  In his life he has dated 19 Katherines, but this last one has broken his heart. To help him get over Katherine XIX, Colin's friend Hassan suggests that they take a road trip.  They set off from their home and drive for a long time ending up in  Gutsthot, Tennessee, and meet Lindsay and her mom, Hollis.  They decide to stay and work for Hollis, all the while Colin is trying to get over Katherine XIX.  What Colin is able to find in this small Tennessee town just might save him.

This book was just another great one from John Green.  I love Colin's character, all the quirkiness, the sadness, and the abundance of facts. I think what really got me was that Colin may not have been like the other teens in his life, but he had so much more than them, it just took someone longer to find it.  I feel like that is real life, not the typical teen drama.

I purchased this book at Costco.
ISBN: 978-0-14-241070-7

I Am Malala

I Am Malala By: Malala Yousafzai

This is the fascinating and terrifying story of Malala, a young woman from Pakistan.  Malala was raised differently than the normal Pakistani child, because her father owned a school and felt that it was important for his family and children to learn.  Malala's father spoke out against the people in the country that did not think that education was a good thing.  On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban.  They did not believe that she would live, but she proved them wrong in so many ways by living and then telling all about her story.

This was a book I will not forget.  To think that something that most people take for granted, caused this young girl so much in her life.  I cannot imagine living in a country where kids were not able to go to school, and where there is so much fighting and terror.

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-316-32240-9

Born of Decption

Born of Deception By: Teri Brown

Anna has just been given the chance of a lifetime, a part in a show in Europe. She is very excited because this also means that she will be closer to Cole.  When Anna comes to Europe, she is so excited, and nervous to meet the people in Cole's life. To make matters worse, other Sensitives in the area are starting to disappear.  While Anna has to focus on her job, Cole becomes more and more distant.  Anna feels that the Society should look in one area, and Cole does not agree. Anna has to find a way to keep Cole close, but solve the mystery her own way.

This was a great sequel to Born of Illusion. Anna's story continues on a path that I was not expecting.  What I really enjoyed about this part of the story was that Anna becomes very strong, she knows what she believes and will not let anyone tell her what to think.  Great young adult read.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-218757-4

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit By: Philippa Leathers

One morning Rabbit woke up and as he was walking out of his hole he saw a scary Black Rabbit.  The Black Rabbit would not leave him alone.  Rabbit tried everything he could think of to rid himself of him, but he couldn't do it.  Eventually Rabbit headed into the woods, and he believed he was safe.  But there are wolves in the forest, and now Rabbit has a bigger problem.  Black Rabbit comes to the rescue, and Rabbit knows that he now has a friend.

This book was super cute.  I loved the story and the illustrations. The fact that the Black Rabbit was just Rabbit's shadow was so funny. I know that any elementary reader will love this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5714-7

The Orphan of Ellis Island

The Orphan of Ellis Island By: Elvira Woodruff

Dominic does not want anyone to know his secret.  He hides it every day at school, but on one class trip it seems that he will have to share it.  His class is on a tour of Ellis Island, and the tour guide is asking everyone to share their story.  When it is Dominic's turn, instead of telling everyone he is an orphan and doesn't know anything about his family, he runs away.  Dominic finds a place to hide, and wakes up later to find that he is in the museum at night. Knowing he will have to wait for someone to find him, he walks around and listens to the recordings of the immigrants that came to Ellis Island, one recording gives him more than he asks for and he is transported back in time.

This was a touching book with a great historical base.  Dominic's story is so much like many kiddos today, and they will relate to it.  I thought the idea of him going back in time, and finding out what it was like for immigrants to come to America was a great story. Great read for upper elementary and middle school readers.

This book was donated to my class.
ISBN: 0-590-48246-7

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On My Honor

On My Honor By: Marion Dane Bauer

Joel isn't sure that he likes being Tom's friend. Tom always likes to do things that Joel is not supposed to do and is a little afraid of.  One day Tom convinces Joel that they should ride their bikes on an adventure.  Joel's father gives them permission, but has them promise not to do anything other than ride to the park.  Along the way, Tom decides that swimming in the river will be fun.  Although reluctant, Joel decides to join him, and challenges Tom to swim out to the sandbar.  Tom disappears, and Joel realizes that Tom has gone under.  He tries to find help, but by the time he does Tom is nowhere to be found.  Joel hides the information and tells a lie to the police and Tom's family. He is distraught with guilt.

I usually do not dislike any books. I wish I had not read this.  It made me so sad, I cannot imagine a boy whose friend has just drown, hiding it from the police and his family.  Not only because that is such the wrong thing to do, but because the guilt that that the child will carry for the rest of his life is unimaginable to me.  When I got to the end of the book, I was shocked and disappointed. It won a Newbery Honor and is based on actual events in the town it is based on, but I don't think that I will have this in my room.

This book was donated to my class
ISBN 0-440-46633-4

The Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons By: William Pene Dubois

Professor William Waterman Sherman attempted to fly across the world with his twenty-one balloons. He was not successful and was found in the Atlantic ocean floating on his wreckage.  The world wants to know his story, but he is in no hurry to tell them.  When he does finally start talking he tells the tale of his adventures.  No one knows is the professor's tale is true or false, but they all know that it is one that they want to hear.

This was a quirky and fun story for the adventurous readers.  The contraption that the professor makes is out of this world, and unbelievable.  Written with the main character telling the story of his fantastic journey makes it even better and it reads as a nonfiction story.  Even though this story was written in 1947, it still is a great story for students today.

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 0-590-56925-2