Monday, July 30, 2012


Flutter By: Erin E. Moulton

Maple's house is about to experience  a big change.  Maple's mother is having a baby and the baby comes way to early.  Grandma comes to stay with Maple and her two sisters, Dawn and Beetle.  But Maple hears that the baby is not doing well and decides that she is going to set out on her own for help from the Wise Woman who guards a pool in the woods.  Dawn finds out about Maple's plan and will not let her go alone. So the two girls set off together.  Little do they know of the danger they are putting themselves into. But they forge ahead to set off and save their little sister.

I loved this book for the willingness to be in harms way over the love of a sibling.  I thought the characters did the right thing by doing anything they could to help their new little sister. The characters were fun to read about because they had all the great sibling problems but showed so much love for each other. Great fourth or fifth grade read.

I was given this from a student.
ISBN: 978-0-545-45853-5

The Book Thief

The Book Thief By: Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger is a foster child who has been taken into the home of a family near Munich, Germany.  She has already witnessed the death of her brother and feels the loss of her mother and is so young. When her brother is buried, she begins her career as a book thief, even though she cannot read very well. As the Nazis begin to take over she begins to understand the way of the world as she knows, it and finds a love for books even though she is not a good reader. But to calm her nightmares her father stays up late at night teaching her to read.  Things get even trickier for her and her family when they begin to hide a Jewish man in their house.

I liked this story a lot. I would have to say that it was not an easy read for me. The topic was not something that I enjoy reading about because of its depressing nature, and it was not a simple read and took a lot of thought. I did think that it was well written and  a must read for high school and older.  I liked the perspective of the book, being from a third person who is not involved in the book but tells things as they come.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 0-375-83100-2

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Embrace By: Jessica Shirvington

Violet has never known her mother, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches and her father is more distant she misses her a lot.  She has always been alone, as her father worked long hours and she did not get along with her nannies. Recently she has moved schools, because of what a teacher did to her at her last school, and she has a new best friend Steph, and another good friend Lincoln.   Lincoln is much older and is helping Violet to hone her defense skills, but her feelings for him run a lot deeper.  But on her birthday she gets a strange note from her mom, and she begins to sense things around her are changing.  She finds out that Lincoln has been hiding his true identity and hers, and so she runs to her new friend Phoenix.  But will the choices she has to make be tainted by the friends that she holds dear, and will she make the right choices and accept her destiny?

I thought this was a great read for young adults, I would say out of high school, or mature high school readers.  I liked that the story was about an angel that didn't know she was one, and that she is given the choice to become what she was destined for or not.  The added two boys like one girl thing gave a lot of tension to the book, and being an avid reader you know that one of them is not the right guy for her. The cover illustration was very beautiful!  I also like how it was open ended and that there is another book Enticed to come!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4022-6840-3

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Divergent By: Veronica Roth

It's a whole different world and people are broken up into factions.  Candor (honest), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful), and Erudite (intelligent).  Which ever faction you are born into that is the life you live, until you are given the choice to choose which faction you would like to be, you are given a series of tests when you turn sixteen and these tests show you which faction will suit you.  But when Beatrice takes her test she finds out that she is divergent, meaning she doesn't fit into one specific faction.  On choosing day she and her brother both shame their family by choosing not to stay as Abnegation, Beatrice chooses the Dauntless, who she has always watched from afar.  This sets her off on a rough journey to be accepted and to stay alive, along the way she meets Four, who is intrigued by her, and finds out information about her mother's past and what dangers lie ahead for her.

I thought this book was way out there. But I really liked it.  I think that the story of teens picking where they think they will fit in the world is one that every teen makes, and sometimes it upsets their parents the path they choose and they must prove they made the right choice. Add in the element that as a divergent Beatrice is no longer safe and the pressure mounts. Great adventurous read, I cannot wait to read the sequel  Insurgent.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-202402-2

Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil   By: Wendy Higgins

Anna Whitt is able to see the emotions of people around her.  She also feels compelled toward danger and drugs.  But her good girl side always wins out and she is as clean as an angel.  This is until she meets Kaidan Rowe, who makes her feel something totally dark.  He leads her to the discovery of her true past.  Her parents were not quite normal. Her mother, who is deceased, was an angel of light, her father, who is in jail, the demon of substance abuse!  Quite a combination.  As Anna tries to discover her true self and find out about her past, she cannot help but be drawn to Kaidan.  But is this a good thing?  This sets off the adventure of a lifetime and no one knows if Anna will survive!

I really liked this book. I loved the storyline  about angels and demons and felt myself get lost in the story.  It really drew you in and was so much fun to read.  The story was both dark and light and showed that good may not always win, but it will sure try hard to do so.  I think this is a perfect high school read and up.  And, it seems open to a sequel as the ending doesn't quite tell the whole story of these two!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-208561-0

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Masters of Disaster

Masters of Disaster By: Gary Paulsen

This is the story of three friends who decide to make themselves famous by completing a few stunts and hoping to be in the book of records, and recreate scenes from the books they are reading in class. Led by Henry, Riley and Reed join up to do some pretty amazing things! These things unfortunately for Reed most end with him doing something crazy and ending up covered in poop.  But when the murder mystery presents its self to them, they just can't hold back and have to try to solve it!  Talk about one crazy time!

Honestly the cover alone called out to me and I thought this book was so funny. It is full of boys doing crazy stunts and getting into interesting situations. The writing shows such humor it made me laugh out loud.  I loved that the boys are so willing to do all these things and that Reed is always the victim of some kind of poop landing on him.  So funny.  I know, boy humor, but right up my alley, as I have three boys in my house and work with a bunch of fourth and fifth grade boys! :)  Perfect boy read.

I was given this as a gift.
ISBN: 978-0-545-43129-3

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf  By: Judy Sierra  Illustrated By: Jotto Seibold

B.B. Wolf has been asked to tell his story at the library.  His villain  friends tell him to make the story better by adding details. But when he gets to the library Little Pig number 2 is there to set the record straight and tells B.B. Wolf to tell the truth! So to make it up to them he decides to do something nice for the Three Little Pigs and makes the book a happy ending.

I like this book for the fun of it. It is really fun to read out loud because the kids are telling me while I am reading that it is wrong!  So it is a fun take on the Big Bad Wolf stories!

I bought this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-375-85620-4

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Detective Little Boy Blue

Detective Little Boy Blue By: Steve Metzger  Illustrated By: Tedd Arnold

Little Boy Blue is solving the crimes of the story world. He is on the lookout for Little Miss Muffet. Along the way he runs into Bo Peep and her missing sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and Old Mother Hubbard.  He just hopes he can find Miss Muffet soon!

I love that this story takes you into the land of stories with a twist.  It has awesome illustrations and is a delightful read aloud for any elementary classroom.  I think that all kids love it!

I bought this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-545-17286-8

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sequel Day!

I have read a couple sequels today and thought I would just put them in the same post! :)

Where She Went By: Gayle Forman Sequel to If I Stay

It has been three years since the accident took place.  Adam is doing great by the entire world’s view.  He is now a successful music artist with a beautiful girlfriend and an awesome record deal.  But to Adam things are not right. He is so stressed and anxious and feels he is living another person’s life.  He has no idea what is happening with Mia, she went off to Julliard six months after the accident and never returned.  She just disappeared. But a chance encounter with Mia has left him shaken. Can they resolve their issues and find a way to be together again?

I really liked this book as a sequel.  I loved how it told the story from Adam’s point of view.  I liked how even though at the end of the first book I thought things were going to be happy ever after, but they ended up completely different!  I really thought that this book did a great job of continuing the story and making it just as good as the first one.  Perfect high school read!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-525-42294-5

Crescendo By: Becca Fitzpatrick  Sequel to Hush, Hush

Nora loves Patch, and she tells him that! But he is unable or not willing to return the words. This upsets Nora because she feels betrayed. Then Nora finds out that Patch is spending a lot of time with her enemy Marcie and she is even more hurt. She decides to break it off with Patch, which makes her feel lost, but makes her best friend Vee very happy.  When Scott enters the picture, Nora only spends time with him to make Patch jealous, but when someone begins sending Nora letters about her father, and she believes that she has seen her father things get a little crazy.  Nora is forced into a battle for her life and has to piece together the story of her parents past (and who her real father is) and who is this Black Hand that is threatening to hurt her.

Great sequel!  This is again a great way to continue a story.  It added more twists and turns to the story and continued with a suspense filled, action packed, story of just how to survive and love one person.  I really liked how the new characters came into the story with a history that you knew would reveal some interesting facts. I thought that the storyline about Nora’s father also added a bonus!  All in all a perfect sequel for high school and older readers.  AND there is a third book that I am looking forward to reading soon!!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8943-1

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Extreme Dot To Dot

Extreme Dot To Dot BY: MindWare

These are my new favorite fun things to have for my classroom. I cannot wait to share them with my students!  They are so cool. They have dot to dot images with hundreds to thousands of dots to connect to make an awesome image!  I purchased the Around the USA and Explorers ones but they make them with rainforest animals, dinosaurs, and sports!  SO COOL!

I purchased these from

Geology Rocks!

Geology Rocks! By: Cindy Blobaum  Illustrated By Michael Kline

I just finished coordinating a science camp about geology and I found this book to be one of my most favorite places to get information and hands on activities. This book is FULL of 50 hands on activities to explore the basic systems of earth.  I loved it!  The activities were really fun and creative and the kids at camp loved doing them too.  One of my favorite activities was the push those plates.  The kids were given graham crackers and frosting and were able to move the crackers to imitate the movement of the plates on the earth.  Great book for any teacher!!

I bought this from
ISBN: 978-1-885593-29-0

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If I Stay

If I Stay By: Gayle Forman

Mia has a choice, does she stay and live or does she die.  She had everything but was in a car accident that took the life of her whole family (Mom, Dad and little Brother).  She is now stuck wandering the hospital where she is in in ICU fighting for her life. She is watching her grandparents, best friend and boyfriend and how they are handling the accident. While doing this she remembers much about her life and all the wonderful and not so wonderful times with her family.  Is it worth still living without them? That is the choice she has to make.

I really liked this book. It was a great story of how much the people around us mean to us and what it would be like to have to live without them.  It makes you think about how fast things can change and if you were able to choose what you would choose to do on Earth without those you love the most.  Perfect high school read.

I borrowed this from a friend
ISBN: 978-0-14-24153-6

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I've Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number By: Sophie Kinsella

Poppy has a problem, her heirloom engagement ring has been lost!  And her phone has been nicked, but she is resourceful and finds a phone in a trash bin and picks it up! She gives this number to the hotel personnel so that if they find her ring they can phone her. But then Sam calls, and wants to know how and where she found this phone, but she is able to convince him to let her use it until she finds her ring. She just can't help herself though and gets mixed up in reading all his emails and answering texts.  Before she knows it she is in deep. While she is trying to set up her wedding she finds her self doubting things a little more, but Sam is there to help her all along!

This was a cute and fun read. I loved the story line that she finds a phone and just takes it to use for her own use!  So funny.  I thought the characters were endearing and had so much going for them, Poppy and Sam complement each other well. I loved the part when Poppy was feeling bad because she was not good at Scrabble with her in laws so Sam texts her words to use and she ends up winning the game!! So funny.  Great great adult read!!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-385-34206-3 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush By: Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora is really annoyed when she is forced to be lab partners with Patch in biology. But she feels that there is something going on with him.  For the past few months she has been feeling like someone is watching her and following her, now that she knows Patch she thinks it might be him.  But when things start to get a little more intense and her best friend his beaten up, she is more than worried.  Vee, her best friend, also has been hanging around with Elliot, a transfer student with what Nora finds out is a dark past.  Can Nora figure out what is going on and who is out to get her, and will she sort out her feelings for Patch who is acting sketchy?

This was a great teen read.  Perfect mix of thriller and teen drama.  I loved the characters of Nora and Patch and think that the chemistry between them was great. I also liked how as the reader you knew there was something about him being a fallen angel but you couldn't quite put your finger on it until it was all revealed.  The author did a good job keeping the true ending hidden and I loved that there were twists and turns throughout.  Great read!!  AND there is a sequel Crescendo!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8942-4

Sunday, July 8, 2012

An Invisible Thread

An Invisible Thread By: Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Laura is a busy lady, she works very hard and has a lot on her plate. So when the young boy asks her for money on the street she walks past, but something makes her stop and turn around.  She decides to help this young boy of 11 out and take him to lunch.  She does this every Monday after that, with this one small decision she changes both of their lives forever.  This is the story of how it you can make a difference in someones life forever.  Laura is able to teach Maurice many things that were missing in his life and help to make him a better person.  Maurice is able to teach Laura how you can't give up on someone.

This is one of my favorite books.  It is a wonderful story of two people who were very different but needed each other in their own way.  Maurice needed Laura to be a mother figure in his life and teach him a different path than his own mother was able to teach him. Laura needed Maurice to teach her how to survive and how to be a mother to someone.  Fascinating Beautiful story!!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4251-3

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold By: Elizabeth C. Bunce

Charlotte and her sister Rosie are all that is left of the Miller family. They just lost their father and now are the only ones left to run the mill. But the mill seems to have a curse on it, as it is not able to ever be fixed up, and strange things are always happening that make it so the millers are not successful or fall into peril.  The girl's uncle comes to live with them and to act as their guardian, but he ends up cheating them out of things with his gambling problem. Charlotte meets Randall, the banker, that while he comes to tell them about the debt they owe the bank finds more when him and Charlotte fall in love. Charlotte is not going to let the mill fall into shambles or close and so she sets out to break the curse before it is to late.

I loved this book. I thought it was a fantastic book with mystery  and shows that even though girls may not seem like they can do a lot, they can do whatever they set their mind to. I loved the strong will of the characters to make the best of what is a bad situation.  I think that it would be great for upper middle school and up readers.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-439-89576-7

Grandpa For Sale

 Grandpa For Sale By: Dotti Enderle and Vicki Sansum  Illustrated By: T. Kyle Gentry

Lizzie works in her family's antique shop, Oldman's Antiques. Her grandpa sometimes gets tired and sleeps on the settee. One day Mrs Larchmont comes in and decides that she cannot live without the antique, meaning Lizzie's grandfather, but no matter how much she is offered Lizzie cannot bear to part with him, which makes Mrs. Larchmont very angry. But makes Lizzie very happy.

I love this book. The illustrations make it a very special book to read.  They are vivid and beautiful.  I think that the story is also a wonderful one, that some people may think that money can buy anything, but they are terribly wrong.!

I bought this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-9729225-8-6

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days By: Shannon Hale

Dashti is a lady's maid.  She works for Lady Saren, but little does she know that she is about to be locked into a tower with her for seven years.  Lady Saren has made her father angry and he has locked her into a tower until she has agreed to marry a certain man or until seven years has passed.  Well after a thousand days in the tower Dashti is able to find a way out of the tower and they find that the towns around them have been leveled. They head to the town of the love of Lady Saren's life to see if they can get help there, they end up in service to him in the kitchen.  But circumstances have it that Dashti is called upon to help heal one of his men. She becomes his friend, but has not told him who she is and who she works for. Lady Saren has changed a lot since being locked in the tower and does not want her love to know who she is, so she tells Dashti to pretend to be her, things get very mixed up from there and Dashti ends up in jail and awaits the ruling on her life.

This was a great book, it is very hard to explain so my summary is a little confusing I know.  It is the story of real love and much sorrow.  I thought the author did a fantastic job telling this story, at first I was really confused as to what was happening but then was drawn into it and could not put it down. There is a mystery surrounding the man that Lady Saren was supposed to marry that will appeal to all paranormal fans out there! Such a great read!  I would say that it would be great for upper middle school readers and up.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-59990-378