Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Salon - September 27, 2009

1. Ghostgirl 1 and 2 - This week I sent out Ghostgirl 1 and 2 by Tonya Hurley to those July 10 winners! Over 2 months late! I sent them first class so they should have them now!

2. Bram Hambric - I picked the winner for my ARC of Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation that comes complete with interview questions. The winner is

Carrie K at Books and Movies

3. Stray Affections - I decided to pick two winners for Stray Affections by Charlene Baumbich. The winners are:

4. When The Whistle Blows - The winner of the signed ARC of When The Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton is

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (Teacher Mock Newbery) - good but wonder what audience DiCamillo had in mind. I think it will be great as a readaloud. I want to "attend" the webcast on October 25 and get into her though process.

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen (Teacher Mock Newbery) - liked this better than Hatchet. Simple but entertaining.

Almost Astronauts by Tanya Stone (Teacher Mock Newbery) - loved the formatting in this book but it was very wordy. Learned much about these women who couldn't become astronauts. Sad to remember it wasn't that long ago.

B is for Bufflehead by Steve Hutchcraft (NetGalley) - this was an interesting ABC book. The pictures were incredible and the variety of birds, mixing common with the not-so common, kept me reading. The formatting was a little bit of a challenge since it didn't stay the same. Also, this is definitely one that would have to be read to someone. After going through each bird Hutchcraft gives a miniquiz on each bird - picture and a question with four birds per page. After the miniquiz, Hutchcraft gave more information on each bird which also included four birds per page. The additional facts looked crowded on the page so I pretty much skimmed for the birds I was intrigued by and wanted more info on. The pages included the birds': range, habitat, photo information, food, and "fun feathered facts". Good addition to a school library.

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (book talk) - better than I expected. I've been wary of everything vampire, werewolf, etc because I have some students who won't pick up a book without those characters. I enjoyed this. The level of sensuality makes it upper YA.

Invisible by Pete Hautman (book talk) - another request. This was good. The Hautman books I've read are all slightly outside the mainstream. This one fooled me and I didn't get it until it revealed its secret. I then had to go back and certain things clicked. I enjoyed this one! It took me until the 3rd book talk class before I had an epiphany on the title. My mind was stuck on a certain idea until I was acting out the main character to the class...

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble (blog tour) - finished this one. Got me thinking about Russian history. Loved the way Preble weaved the story of Baba Yaga throughout and mixed in her own thoughts.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman - started out strong but then sort of fizzled for me. I liked it well enough but thought the ending was just blah after so much promise. Good enough to pass on to other adult fantasy readers though.

Betsy in Spite of Herself (6) by Maud Lovelace (blog tour) - would be done but I accidently left it at school Friday! I'm liking it because Betsy thinks she needs to be someone "more". So many students (and grown-ups) go through that stage. I Like how Lovelace intersperses history throughout her story. So far, Heaven to Betsy (5) is my favorite!

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl (blog tour) - good but not great. It's entertaining but it covers similar ground to Drood by Dan Simmons which I've yet to finish but will before the new year!

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (BN First Look) - just started. Blake will be on starting October 12. Waiting for the reading schedule before posting.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick (St. Joe Mock Newbery) - this is my second time trying to read this book. The first time I couldn't get past the cover. This time I've made to page 40. I'm hoping to be at least 1/2 done by the 10/8 meeting! Good thing I'm not in charge! There's just something about it that I'm resisting...

Book Buying Ban
This week I received three books that I requested to review so I gave away three books then I went a little crazy and donated 2 bags of books to our school library! Why haven't I thought of that before??? I mean I've given books to our school before but never officially - like this. It was awesome. Except now I must catalog them all :(. I have one more bag to bring in. I did not buy one book this week. It was hard. So, I made a trip to the library and brought home a few reads I hope to get to in October.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - read and liked the Da Vinci Code.
The Soloist by Steve Lopez - loved the movie and want to know more about the journalist, Lopez, as well as the prodigy, Nathaniel Ayers. Very intriguing.
Stitches by David Small - graphic novel memoir that I've heard good things about.
Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix - loved Found and want to see where she goes with this story.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly - will return unread and just wait until one of the Newbery clubs I'm in reads it in November.

Banned Books Week - September 26 - October 3, 2009
To celebrate my Freedom to Read I'm going to read and post about To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee this week and then give it away on the 3rd!
The Banned Book Week image is used by Creative Commons license courtesy of

Long-winded! No more waiting two weeks! I will be mailing out new winners by media mail this week and Vanishing Sculptor to an old (not age!) winner by first class. Have a great week everyone!


  1. Thanks so much - I am looking forward to reading Bram Hambric aloud to my kids!

  2. Looking forward to the Magician's Elephant.

  3. I got them last week, very quickly. Thanks!


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