Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This is NOT the Body I Was Looking For - #SOL15 3

Over the past few years I've owned several Fitbits.  Currently, I'm sporting a FitBit One.  Sadly, I've spent more time researching fancy pedometers than I have actually using it to work out. And somehow I'm surprised that my clothes are tighter. I mean, not working out, eating whatever, and getting older is not the recipe for svelteness. But every week, I'm shocked. I step on the scale and I wonder what the h-e-double hockey sticks??!! Whose body is this??!!

I'm participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. Each day in March, try to post a little slice of your day, your life, your thoughts. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting it together - #SOL15 2

It's already March. I haven't finalized my One Word (I thought about faith). I haven't started my bullet journal (I did buy a journal). I haven't done a Whole30 (I do have the book). For the first time, in a very long time, I am feeling behind in every area of my life. Usually there is one thing that I'm rocking in, and that's usually work, but not this year. New job. I haven't even followed my weekly blogging plan! ARGH!

How do you step off the treadmill? How do you catch up to yourself?

I'm hoping that taking the time each evening to sit and look back at my day will help me find my track again.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ares: Bringer of War by George O'Connor - Blog Tour

To climb atop a pile of your enemies...and want more. That..is Ares.
O'Connor, George. Ares: Bringer of War (Olympians, 7). First Second (Roaring Brook Press), 2015.
76 pages. $9.99. 978-1-62672-013-8.

Affiliate Links: Amazon | IndieBound

Genre: Greek Mythology Graphic Novel
Cover Appeal: Color choice screams WAR! And Ares' stance tells you he glories in it! This is how covers should be done! Middle Schoolers and above.

Immediately After:
Whoa! That last line was great!

Students can't seem to get enough of graphic novels or Greek Mythology and this series combines both.

We are introduced to Ares in comparison with his sister Athena. Ares is bloodthirsty and the joy he gets from the chaos comes through in the graphics. The Gods  are watching the Trojan War enter into it's 10th year. The stakes are high in this war as  many demi-gods are involved and each God wants to help his or her child. Zeus asks that they stay impartial but that does not happen. In addition to seeing the Gods involvement, we also witness the war from the fighters. These two levels give Ares: Bringer of War a level of complexity not seen in the previous graphic novels. I sense much discussion to ensue from this one. I already have students waiting for it as they've read all the other books - some several times.

O'Connor's artwork is always vivid but I think he's outdone himself. There are some FANTASTIC spreads and throughout Ares: Bringer of War that portray so much emotion and life. Here are a few but please go to the Macmillan Ares page and DO NOT miss O'Connor's Olympians site.

I gave this a 3 out of 4 stars because the different storylines made it confusing. I had to go back several times to understand what was happening. The previous books in the series were more straightforward.  A wonderful part of each book is O'Connor's End Matter. He not only gives you more information about the featured God but he has "Geek (Greek) Notes" where he discusses particular panels, questions for discussion, and a bibliography.

Blog Tour

Thank you to First Second books and Macmillan for including me on this tour! Using the above affiliate links will bring a small measure of support to The Brain Lair and I thank you in advance.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniversary Celebration

Babbit, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting. Macmillan, 1965. 192 p. $9.99. 9781250059291.

Blessed with—or doomed to—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

What if you could live forever?

I think about Tuck and his insistence that the wheels of change must keep turning. Everything has a season they say. And I believe that. You could never really get to know anyone new because you would have to leave before they noticed you weren't getting older. Now, I am not a big fan of people but I like talking to them. I think we are built for different levels of companionship.  So, I guess I would not want to live forever!

What would 3rd Graders do?

I talked to several 3rd graders about Tuck Everlasting and asked them the question. Here's what they had to say?:

  • Jump into a  volcano
  • Drink after I go to college and then go live on Mars
  • Drink at 30 so I can drive and give to family so we can live together
  • I don't want to live forever
  • Give it to people about to die
  • Drink at 25 and give to family and go to Pluto
  • Drink at 30 and give to family and dive into a volcano with dynamite
  • I would not drink it
  • I would go to war and be last one standing and win the war

About the Author
A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young readers. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three.

The 40th Anniversary edition will release on January 20, 2015 with a special forward by Gregory Maguire! Pre-order your copy here!

Click to read an excerpt!
Search #Tuck40th to see what other people are saying!


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