Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Top 15 Books of 2008

Here are my top 15 books, in no particular order:

  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
  • Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Slam by Nick Hornby
  • Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
  • Heart on My Sleeve by Ellen Wittlinger
  • The Last Dragon by Silvi De Mari
  • The Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godberson
  • She's So Money by Cherry Cheva
  • I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Cooper
  • Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  • Gone by Michael Grant
I've read quite a few books and it was really hard to narrow it down, especially since I didn't review all of these - which would mean a closer reading. I can't wait to see how 2009 turns out!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lit Flicks Challenge Update

I have some reviews to post as an update to this Challenge. This will go along with my goal to review more. I am reading so much, I'm not posting in a timely manner. That will be changing, yeah! Anyway here are some book/movie combos I've read watched so far:

Princess Bride - both
Hoot - movie
Twilight - both
Wuthering Heights - both
A Christmas Carol - both
Holes - both

I will pick two of these to review and post. Right now I'm thinking Wuthering Heights and A Christmas Carol. Any other ideas?

100 and The Cybils

Well, I made my 100 books this year and have been thinking about my top ten. I didn't include the books I read for the Cybil's but I will be talking about them within this month. I'm going to spend this week looking at old posts and setting goals for the new year. I know my blogging goal will be to read less and review more. Right now I'm thinking one fiction and one non-fiction choice per month.

The Cybils has really opened my eyes to some great non-fiction out there. A few I enjoyed: I am Scout by Charles Shields about Harper Lee, The Trouble Begins at 8 by Sid Fleischman about Mark Twain, Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li about her childhood, Yes We Can by Garen Thomas about Barack Obama, The Year We Disappeared by Cylin and John Busby about John Busby's attempted murder, and other great books. There were so many good books, it was truly hard to choose. I look forward to finding out the final selections from the judges!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Best Books of 2008

Time to start thinking of the Top 10 books I've read this year. What do you have on your lists? Hmm...

Update on Top 20 YA Books to Read

Early in the summer, I listed the Top 20 YA books I wanted to read. I've read 17 so far. Only 3 more to go!

Friday, November 28, 2008

100 Books?

Can I read a hundred books before the year is over? I've almost finished number 90 - Gone by Michael Grant. My original goal was 50 and I'm proud of that. But can I reach 100? That would be so cool! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Buying Books

I gotta stop doing it. As a librarian and as a single mom. I spend way too much money on books. I should get them from the library or friends. I have books that I haven't read yet. I should read them. I am giving up buying books, unless needed for class or a lesson, for one year. I will keep you informed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hope

Today I stood in the shower and cried. Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America. When it happened last night I was too stunned to feel anything. I just could not believe it was true. I waited for the other shoe to drop. Barack Obama is the president. I know it's not about race, but for those of us who've been pulled over by the police, followed in the store, passed by because they could not possibly be the one in charge, looked at as the authority on everything African American just because you're African American...it is simply amazing. Barack Obama is the president.

Hope. I'd given up on some dreams, thinking they were out of my reach. No more. Barack Obama is the president. Yes, We Can he said and Yes, We Did.

And, yes, I can!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cybils NFMGYA Nominations

Here's a link to the nominations for NonFiction Middle Grade/YA books on the CYBILS

http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/NonFicMGYA.html/

I've received some of these books from the publisher. I'm really enjoying this new experience. I only wish I didn't also have to do my homework!

Founder Associate at Twitter in San Francisco, CA

Founder Associate at Twitter in San Francisco, CA

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, October 6, 2008

Jumper by Steven Gould



Jumper by Steven Gould

Jumper starts off with lots of action. We see Davy Rice about to get whipped with a belt buckle by his Dad. He "jumps" out of the scene. We then see him in another bad situation, we get another "jump".

Davy's decided that life on his own has to be better than life with his dad. Like his mom, he leaves home. For various reasons, he winds up in New York. We see him learn to control his jumps while getting into successively (is that a word?) worse situations. Then, he makes a jump that changes his life for the better. He meets a girl and things really start looking up for Davy.

Throughout the book Davy wonders whether he is the only teleporter (another non-word?) alive. He wonders why there is so much evil in the world. He wonders why his mother left when he was 11.

He finally tracks down his mom, but a strange situation takes her from him again and Davy vows revenge. He gains more and more control over his power, but not enough control over his emotional life. He gets mixed up with the NSA. The good stuff starts going bad.

Then Davy takes control and turns things around again. We are left with many questions about Davy and his abilities.

This book only gets 3 of 5 stars. Although it was filled with action, the action seemed pointless. Sometimes Gould would flashback into scenes that didn't need a flashback. Davy made stupid decisions that even a child under 7 could see were stupid. The plot was very convoluted and many things had to happen to bring it to a resolution, and those things didn't always make a lot of sense. Still, I found it hard to put down and pretty much read it straight through. I thought the idea of "jumping" could go many different ways. Davy's ponderings about the government and the NSA involvement were very telling. I actually enjoyed the book and know many middle school boys who would get a kick out of it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Books into Movies Challenge

Check out this Lit Flicks Challenge. You read 5 books that have been made into movies and watch at least 2 of the movies by February 28th.

This works well for me because that's one of the 8th Gr. English Teacher's themes for next month. I will be doing book talks to her class on books that have been made into movies. The students have to read the book/watch the movie and write a paper comparing/contrasting them. Two books she's given me to read are: Hoot and Princess Bride.

I also chose Lord of the Flies because I've always wanted to read that. I just need two more book choices! I think I want to watch the movies for all of them though!!

Book Club Girl suggested the following websites to find your book/movie combos:
Mid-Continent Public Library
UnSpun by Amazon
The Guardian Top 50 Movie Adaptations - scroll down for list

I also suggest you check out:
Teen Reads - here
Kids Reads - here

Have fun!! Let me know if you join.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Cybils Begin Today!!

It's time people - time for the CYBILS! The Cybils are Children and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards and nominations start today. The Cybils try to uncover books that have great literary merit and children will enjoy reading. There are nine book genres including Young Adult fiction and non-fiction, Graphic Novels, and Fantasy/Science fiction. Books must have been published between January 1 and October 15, 2008. So if you have a great book you want to nominate, head on over to the Cybils and make your voice heard!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Flip Video

Ok, we tested it in movie maker and we were fine! Our only problem is our old equipment. We need some sort of DVD burner to burn the edited video and then upload it on a separate mixer. No...I don't understand a word of this but that is what the students tell me! I trust them 100%. They know this kind of stuff!!! So...we still really like the Flip Video but we have to keep looking...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flip Video for PC - #3

Ok, I took my video and put it in their movie mix program. You can choose the videos you want to use, decide what type of video - nostalgia, classic, kaleidoscope, journal, etc. - and if you want to use their music. I chose nostalgia and their music. Here it is...

video

Wow. I just need to test it in movie maker - which is the program the students use - and pass it to the next person to try. I'm going to work on some other things right now, but look for the movie maker test later!

Flip Video for PC - #2

Ok, I just played around, made a video, practiced editing with their software, and did a cute little video mix. I'm going to see what I can upload now.

video

Ok, that wasn't so bad. This has all been done without a manual. I think the students would be even faster because these things are so intuitive to them. This thing is pretty awesome.

Testing the Flip Video for PC - #1

Today we received the Flip Video for PC from our Follett Library rep. We will be testing it for a week. Our 7th and 8th grade students create a daily news program and their equipment needs updating! We are trying to find money and inexpensive equipment.

The Flip Video is about 3 1/2 in. tall and 2 1/2 in. wide so it's very portable. It has built-in video mixing software but is compatible with imovie and Movie Maker. It runs on two AA batteries and has a built in hard drive. It also has a USB plug so you don't have to fiddle around trying to find the correct firewire to load the video on the computer. I just did a quick test video and will see how easy it is to transfer it to the computer.

ISTEP is here!!

It's ISTEP at school today and tomorrow. This year I'm not testing anyone...so far. Which means I have time to catalog books that were "lost" when our computer crashed, read!, work on the new policy and procedures manual, read!, update the classroom book inventory which hasn't been done since 2004, read!, and read! Yeah, ISTEP!!

Book Talks Coming Up!

Ok - my first set of "official" book talks are coming up. I'm doing four books for each grade level. I tried to find books that:
  • are at different levels
  • would appeal to both girls and boys
  • would include one non-fiction choice

So here they are:

6th Grade

  • Al Capone Does My Shirts by G. Choldenko
  • A Boy No More by H. Mazer
  • Woodsong by G. Paulson
  • Cracker by C. Kadohata

7th Grade

  • Real Time by P. Kass
  • Taking Sides by G. Soto
  • We Beat the Streets by S. Davis
  • The Red Kayak by P. Cummings

8th Grade

  • New Boy by J. Houston
  • Monster by W.D. Myers
  • Malcolm X by W.D. Myers
  • Airborn by K. Oppel

These are my tentative choices before teacher feedback. I've already started reading Al Capone Does My Shirts and Taking Sides. Both are good. I'm hoping to get some of the reluctant readers hooked before I'm done.

One of the 7th Grade teachers is pretty awesome at getting students interested in reading. She does quick (or would that be wiki?) talks from the Scholastic TRC catalog. Students practically run into the library to see if we have the books! Of course, that helps with collection development too!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Update on Top 20 YA Books I Want to Read

I've finished
  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Black and White by Paul Volponi
  • The Fold by An Na

Only 6 more! Then, of course, a new list must be made!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer


Breaking Dawn
I loved most of it. I had a little problem with the s-e-x, not because it was graphic - it wasn't. It was only alluded too. It was just...unexpected. One of the ways I "handsell" these books to parents is the absence of sex. So many young adult books have it - which isn't bad - unless it's gratuitous. But these appeal to avid readers who are a little younger - say 5th grade and up - so I was surprised and a little grossed out!

I especially enjoyed the writing from Jacob's point of view. It helped me to picture him more clearly, and I was already a Jacob fan! It was funny and thoughtful and surprising. Even the chapter titles were funny: Waiting for the damn fight to start already, Some people just don't grasp the concept of unwelcome - I mean,you can tell Stephenie Meyer was enjoying herself. And I loved the end of that part...

Throughout the book, I felt that we got to know more about Edward's family and I wish there was a part from his perspective. I can't wait for Midnight Sun to come out.

All in all - I loved this book.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Peeled by Joan Bauer



Peeled

Guest blogger Jessica has posted a review of Peeled:
http://school-story.blogspot.com/2008/07/peeled.html

Go on over and check out other book reviews, listen to some music, and find your next read.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reading

Read and need to review:
  • Confessions of a Serial Kisser
  • Avalon High
  • Nugrl90
  • The Luxe
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Confessions of a Blabbermouth

Abandoned:

  • Guyaholic

Up Next:

  • The Glass Castle
  • Thank you, Lucky Stars
  • Geek Magnet
  • Book of a Thousand Days

Monday, June 23, 2008

Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt




Reality Chick
Ally Cavanaugh decides she wants to be on a reality TV show. In her freshmen year of college. That begins the unrealistic part of the book. The setting, the television show, could have been changed without changing the book. The book could have been changed and you wouldn’t know you were reading something different. It really had that “haven’t I read that before” quality and not in a good way.

If Barnholdt would have explored the photography angle and the growing relationship between Drew and Ally, the book would have been much better. A little less name-dropping would help too – it will really date the book. Barnholdt also portrays Ally’s parents as idiots and her best friend as the stereotypical gay guy obsessed with his looks. So campy. Those parts could have been left out and would have improved the story.

Barnholdt’s Two-way Street is a much better book.

How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro








How to Hook a Hottie

Let’s just start with the title. Bad. Can you imagine having to ask for this book in a store or at the library? How embarrassing! This book was unrealistic from beginning to end - the mom moving to Germany to work on her degree, Kate earning money so she doesn’t have to go to college, the nerd dating the most popular guy in school, and then everyone wanting to know her secret. It was totally predictable and the ending could be determined within the first two chapters. Nothing was explored in depth. We all want to believe that you can cross the lines of popularity. This book does not help us.

Airhead by Meg Cabot


Let me just start this by saying I am NOT a Meg Cabot fan. So I went into this with a bias – but hoping that I would be proved wrong.

Emerson Watts is a “feminist” – she doesn’t dress like a girl, she doesn’t wear makeup and she plays video games every chance she gets.

Nikki Howard is a “model” – she’s tall, skinny, and not very bright. She is loved by every guy who sees her.

Nikki is the new face of Stark Enterprises and everything Emerson sees as what’s wrong with society.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****
Emerson has to take her younger sister Frida – a Nikki Howard fan – to a grand opening ceremony of a new Stark Enterprises megastore. They are there to see Stark;s new singer, Gabriel Luna but they see Nikki walking through the store. Frida chases after Nikki to get her autograph and almost has a television fall on her head. The only thing that saves her – is Emerson.
When Emerson comes to, she finds out that her brain has been transplanted into Nikki Howard’s body.
*****END SPOILER*****

Looks vs. Brains? Can you have both? Does our society put a premium on what’s on the outside or what’s on the inside?

The Fold by An Na



The Fold
Joyce and Gina are best friends ending their junior year of high school. They are determined to make this summer one of transformation. They want to look better, prettier, to stand out and be noticed. When they go back to school in the fall, they want people to say Wow. Who wouldn’t want that?

What steps are you willing to take to be “pretty”? Joyce’s Aunt Gomo offers her the chance of a lifetime. She will pay for Joyce to get her eyes done. Get her eyes done? Will that work? Is that all she needs to be beautiful? Joyce has a decision to make. Will the surgery get her what she wants?

The Fold follows Joyce on her quest for popularity. She has to decide how far she wants to go to get what she wants.

Although this story has a great premise, it is predictable and slow-moving. Joyce’s obsession with John Ford Kang is unrealistic based on what he writes in her yearbook. Her loathing of her sister Helen is selfish and has no basis and knowing what we do about Gomo – leads us to the conclusion long before we get there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The SummerBC has picked!

The top 5 novels for us to read this summer are:

1. Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt
2. Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendalin Van Draanen
3. The Luxe by Anna Godberson
4. Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
5. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

We will discuss Reality Chick on June 19th. In the meantime, check out some of Lauren Barnholdt's favorite musicians.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

YA Summer Book Club Choices

The girls (8th/9th/10th grade) get to pick their top 5 and then we will see which ones we read. Our first book will be Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt and our last book will be Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.

1. It's All About Us by Shelley Adina
2. Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
3. Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
4. Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson
5. Take Me There by Susane Colasanti
6. How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro
7. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Judy Gerham
8. Imaginary Enemies by Julie Gonzales
9. Luxe by Anne Gunderson
10.In Between by Jenny B. Jones
11. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
12. How to be Bad by Lockhart, Mylnowski, Myracle
13. Suck it Upby Brian Meehl
14. Dairy Queen/The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
15. Thirteen by Lauren Myracle
16. The Fold by An Na
17. How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt
18. Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
19. The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
20. Lost It by Kristen Tracy
21 Me, The Missing and The Dead by Jenny Valentine
22. Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen


Really hard to pick just 5! I know that #14 is actually two books but you gotta read both! What are your picks?

Top 20 YA Books I Want to Read

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

3. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
5. My Name is Chloe by Melody Carlson
6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
7. The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher
8. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
9. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
10. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
11. Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

12. Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
13. The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
14. The Fold by An Na
15. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
16. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
17. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
18. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
19. Black and White by Paul Volponi
20. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


I'm halfway there..!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Poem A Day - Clean the World

Keeping our Earth clean,
Makes for a better place to live,
For you and for me.

Here's one of our Haiku collaborative poems. Just in time for Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Break

It's spring break for our school this week. I need to catch up on my assignments for my library classes! I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will bring you more student poetry next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Poem A Day - Fog

Folds and Folds
Of spun sugar, like a soft
Gray blanket over the land.

This is from Silver Seeds by Paul Paolilli and Dan Brewer, New York: Scholastic, 2001. This is the book our class read over and over and we practiced writing our acrostics. I will post some of the work over the next few days.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Poem a Day - Spring

Swinging high on a breezy day,
Pretending to be a kite.
Riding scooters up and down the block.
In my face blows a gentle wind and
Noisy children
Gather Easter eggs.
- Ms. B's class 2005

This poem was written by my class as we experimented with acrostics. We were learning that a sentence does NOT need to be confined to one line.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poem a Day - April Rain Song


Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with liquid silver drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.
- Langston Hughes -

I found this poem in "A Poem for Every Day" by Susan Moger. I used it when I was teaching 2nd grade. I can't wait to dive into it and remind myself of all the wonderful memories we had!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taken by Edward Bloor



Taken
I read this book for my YA book club. We tried to choose books that would be appealing to both boys and girls, since we have one boy in our group of 10 girls. The boy dropped out - but we stuck with our book selections.

Taken is set in the future, 2035. In the future, kidnapping is such a lucrative business that the rich have currency vaults, their children have trackers inserted somewhere on their persons, the help consists of people who will be willing to die for you, and they live in gated communities - and rarely leave!

Charity Meyers goes to school via satellite, buys her clothes online, and only has one friend. Taken refers to what happens when someone is kidnapped. Such as Charity. The rule is the families have 24 hours to follow the kidnappers demands and the book opens with only about 12 hours left.

It's a very interesting concept. I didn't think the Mickie Meyers character, Charity's ex-stepmother, was believable. Everyone did what she said but it was noted that she wasn't very bright. She disrupted the satschool classes and the Meyer's everyday life - and they let her.

Other than that - it was a pretty good middle grade mystery. Lots of twists and turns. There were some scenes that might make it a little YA though - such as how Charity and her friend Patience make fun of the background of their names. But, I would recommend it to people looking for a quick read.

posted on Goodreads

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetry Friday - School Stuff

This poem reminds me of teaching. Students always imagine that nothing can happen when they are not there. It was shared with me yesterday by an eighth grade teacher who is starting a poetry unit. It's from Poetry 180. Great resource!

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
gathered

but it was one place

And you weren’t here


From Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993, 1993
Harbour Publishing


Copyright 1993 Tom Wayman.
All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cry of the Icemark - Stuart Hill

Cry Of The Icemark

This was an enjoyable book. Stuart Hill gives you just enough background information that you are not bored or bogged down. We knew that Thirrin would be able to take over when it was her turn. What we didn't know was how she would be able to fight the Empire. The book was action packed but with enough dialogue to make the action fun. Sometimes it was hard to believe that Thirrin was only 14, but that's because I was thinking of modern day 14-year-old children. It was hard to put this book down because Hill gave you just enough to make you keep going. The book club loved this book and immediately checked out the sequel: Blade of Fire.


Posted: Goodreads, Librarything, Myspace

Cover-Up - John Feinstein

Cover-up: Mystery at the Super Bowl

I have to say that this was better than Last Shot for me. I thought it moved a lot faster. I loved the story about the big shot football player and his close friend the equipment manager. I was a little put off by the frequent references to Susan Carol's height and attractiveness though. Also, the older men putting the moves on her were a little much.

I liked the focus on Stevie and how he had to deal with Susan Carol's fame while being sure to do get his work done. The mystery unfolded naturally and I felt like I could recreate the steps the duo took for background research on steroid testing. In light of what's happening with steroids in sports today, this was very timely!


Posted: Goodreads, Librarything, Myspace

Deadline - Chris Crutcher

Deadline

I loved Marla the therapist. She was believable and interesting. That said...this book felt so contrived. I disliked the main character and did not care what happened to him. He was very egotistical and unbelievable. Everything went right for him. I couldn't believe that he would get the girl, I couldn't believe that Rudy would change. I don't understand why Dallas and Rudy had the backgrounds that they did. There was no preparation for any of that. I read 182 p. without any connection. The only reason I finished the book was because it was a book club book.

I wonder if I didn't like this book because of the books I read right before this: Crooked Kind of Perfect, The Opposite of Invisible, Book Thief...maybe these books biased me. As of today though, I didn't like this book. I gave it two stars because we did have a good discussion about it!

Posted: Goodreads, Librarything, Myspace

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

The Book Thief (Readers Circle)
That is my favorite YA book this year. I am "hand-selling" this to my 8th grade students. They are studying the Holocaust right now. Markus Zusak approaches the topic from a different viewpoint. He introduces you to the people who were left behind, the people who had to leave, people who didn't agree but didn't have a choice, people who tried to do the right thing and what that cost them and their families. He does all of that, and more, with compassion. The compassion comes in the form of Death, who narrates the story. He has a sense of humor and a great big heart. It is truly a great book. I've only physically read it once, but I listen to the audio over and over. The narrator hits the exact tone that I imagined! Well worth reading. Don't let the size put you off. It's actually a fast read. Enjoy!

Also posted on: Goodreads, LibraryThing

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lack of Posting

I am pretty busy with classes and work stuff lately. Not a lot of time to read or post, except what's required! I need to learn to say no. I hope to get back on track soon!

I did just finish reading The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher (waiting for Jess at the ortho). That book is full of awesome. As soon as I get the chance, I want to re-read it! And, of course, write about it. Along with all the other reviews I would like to do.

School...it's hard.

30 Day Challenge Check In

Not a great week on the workout front. I worked out for 1 day. It has been a stress-filled busy week...all the more reason to work out, of course. But I did today and I made a new plan and even put it in my plan book so I think this will work out. My new plan is to work out two days aerobics, one day of strength, two days of aerobics, one day of strength, and then one day off. I can do that. The strength day will feel like a break. Yeah, that's a good plan.

Monday, January 14, 2008

30 Day Challenge Check In

All right, week 2! Well I didn't make six workouts but I made 4. I doubled from last week. I got my new tapes from Collage Video. So much fun and pain! This week I will incorporate a dance video. I've only lost 3 pounds so far but I've gained muscles! I can see them! We are only using the resistance band and 3-pound dumb-bells (or at least that's all I'm using!). I've eaten more fruit this week. Ok, gotta get some sleep.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

50 Book Challenge


My "Latest Books I've Read" updates will cease for awhile, so that I can work on my 50 Book Challenge. As I read each book, I will put it on my list to the right. I wonder how many books I will read this year? How many have you read so far? Goodreads has a group called 50 Books 2008 if you want to keep track there.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Smiles to Go - Jerry Spinelli

I just started Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli. It is phenomenol. It's all I can do to put it away while I do my homework. Will Tuppence is afraid of everything and his fear...well it keeps him from everything. Here are a few lines from the book:

And smiles to go before I weep.
...off the edge of self-control and down the slippery slope of my own words.
...you can't forgive unless you first give a crap.
...smile on wheels...(describing a laugh)
Chapter PD165

It's a great story with great words. Will thinks of his epithet:

Here Lies Will Tuppence - He Was Afraid

He also thinks of his best freind's dad's epiteph. He's a man who is always busy:

Here Lies Mario Bontempo - For the Moment.

Expect a full review by week's end.

I'm a Winner! Again!

I just won a Chronicle's of Narnia pop-up book from Anne at Book Buds Kidlit Reviews as part of her Cybils awareness campaign.


I am writing all of the YA short list books in my journal, so that I can read them before the year is over. If I haven't already. I will then be able to use some of them for next year's YA book club! How sweet is that?

30 Day Challenge Check In

Today is the first check-in day for HipWriterMama's 30-day Challenge. I've worked out 3 of the last 5 days. My goal is at least 6 days a week. I've been doing Leslie Sansone's Kick/Walk tape and I just ordered myself some new tapes from Collage Video. I will let you know how they are. I've also found myself drinking more water, a great side habit! I feel great.

I've been entering my workouts at iVillage's Healthy Living site. It's nice to see that even a little bit helps. I hope it will serve to keep me motivated throughout this year.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2 out of 3 ain't bad...

I worked out today! That's twice since I set my goal on Wednesday with HipWriterMama. I'm doing the 30-day Challenge. I always feel great when I work out, like I can conquer the world. Why is it so hard to do then? I don't know, but I'm going to do this. I will make it!

Soon my Rockstar dreams will come true! I mean my bookstore owner dreams! Same difference!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm a Winner!

First - chocolates from Robin Brande
Then - opportunities to read and review Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli and Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes! Perfect for middle schoolers!

Woo Hoo and it's only January 3rd!

Old Blog, New Year

I used to have a blog called Read.Think.Learn. I think, as part of the new me, I want to go back to doing the reviews for my students. This is my second year as a librarian and now I have students in middle and high school as well as some authors I've met. I think it's time. I will be careful though. I burned out because you couldn't update at school and I was super busy at home. I'm still super busy, taking classes at IUPUI, single mom-ming it, hanging out with my homies, running a couple of school book clubs, you know the drill. I'm going to start off small, just with the books I read for book clubs, including our ARYA book club (Adults Reading Young Adult books) which is just me and some teachers finding a reason to get together once a month!!

Ok, that's what I'll do. Right now I'm reading: Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Teach Me by RA Nelson. Those are the book club books du jour. For fun I'm reading: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt.

I also have a Facebook and Myspace account. As well as GoodReads and LibraryThing. I need to consolidate!

30 Day Challenge

I did it! I joined HipWriterMama's 30-Day Challenge. I am on my way. I got up, thought about why I was getting up an hour early - and I actually worked out! This year I want to get back to working on my dream of owning a bookstore. I became a middle school Librarian so that I could determine if I enjoyed working with this age group and reading YA books, and well, YES I DO. As a matter of fact, I believe I want to do a bookstore that specializes in YA books and products. Any way...I decided to break things down and start pulling myself together and getting back on track. First step...Take care of myself better. I'm not getting any younger, although I probably act that way! Being healthy and in good shape will give me the stamina needed to work 20 hour days.

So for the next 30 days, I want to build the habit of working out into my schedule. Look for updates here and watch me make my dreams come true!

I need to send a shout-out to Robin Brande who had a link to HipWriterMama's blog (how can you NOT click on a link by someone called HipWriterMama?). Thanks for the chocolates Robin and keep writing!

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