Last Five Posts

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Sunday Salon - National Get Something Done Month - October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's been a while since I've posted.  I keep using any free time I have to sleep or read!  I've been working without structure for sometime and I find that EVERYTHING goes better when I'm on a schedule.  I need it to help me do what needs to be done.  I need to know that on Mondays, I will get gas and on Thursdays, I will go grocery shopping.  With my ADHD, it ensures I will not only remember something, but accomplish it.

Traditionally, November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  I've participated for some time but this year, I've decided that there are some other things I really need to work on.  I am the world's WORST housekeeper and blogger! I get on a roll and I'm going and then I crash.  Sometimes it doesn't even last throughout the week...

This month changes that!

I've been following The Fly Lady and picked up her book, Sink Reflections. She has things divided into zones and you work on different things each day.  I shouldn't get overwhelmed and will be able to see some immediate results.

I will also work on posting everyday.  I just have to remind myself that it doesn't have to be extremely detailed to add value.  The more I get into the habit, I can add to the posts until they reflect who I am and what I want to say.

Ok, I have a plan and I have a schedule.  I will calendar it out tonight.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green - Review

The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball
Risa Green
Sourcebooks
September 2010

Erin Channing adores Art History and her two best friends, Lindsay and Samantha.  She prides herself on being the rational one in the group.  But, ultimately, Erin believes her life is boring.  She needs to write a knockout essay to convince the COMMITTEE OF TENTH GRADE TEACHERS that she deserves to travel to Italy and study the Masters.  When Erin inherits a crystal ball from her aunt Kiki, whom her dad calls Kooky, she is hesitant to think it's the answer to her prayers.  After testing the ball on a few small items, Erin decides to go for broke!

The Secret Society totally sucked me in from the beginning.

"Things About Me That Might, in an Alternate Universe, Be Interesting..."
"I have the highest GPA in the tenth grade."
"I can recite the periodic table in alphabetical order to the tune of the disco classic YMCA."

I am immediately drawn into the serious but humor-filled tone of the novel.  I want to know more about the Uber Geek that is Erin Channing.  Erin's like the middle child of the three friends, she is not cool like Samantha and she is not overly critical of herself like Lindsay.  She knows who she is and, up till now, her life was enough.  But this essay contest reminds her that her life is too rational and she doesn't really do anything for "fun".  Now, with the Pink Crystal Ball, she can recapture the magic with Jesse Cooper and get that trip to Italy. Hilarity ensues as the Ball interprets wishes in it's own way.  When everything starts to fall apart, Erin tries to undo some of the magic.  This, unfortunately, is where the story falls apart a little.  We must believe that Erin can change the mind of a bully by visiting and reverse a stalker's actions by email.  I didn't get there by what I'd read. But, I could have missed things in my attempt to finish the book on my self-imposed schedule.

All in all, I enjoyed the Pink Crystal Ball because it showed a great friendship between the three high school girls and Jesse Cooper sounded hot!  I appreciated that it was story about high school that didn't involve excessive drinking and jumping in and out of bed.  I'm hoping we'll see additional books about the other girls in the trio and I will be sure to pick them up.  I give this 4 copies.  Pair this one with The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy and celebrate the wonderful young ladies in your life!

Oh, and my favorite line: "Smexy...you know. Smart and Sexy. Like a hot librarian." - How does Risa Green know me?  Ha!

Check out the Facebook page for The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for the copy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

National Book Award Finalists - Young People's Fiction - 2010

They announced the five finalists for the National Book Award in the Young People's Fiction category:

The Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi - which we are reading over at our Mock Printz on goodreads

Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine - will be discussing in DMS Mock Newbery and St Joseph Mock Newbery clubs

Dark Water by Laura McNeal - this one passed me by!


Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers - have this but haven't read it yet

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia - blogged, and will be discussing with both Newbery clubs.

They'll be announcing the winner on November 16th so I need to get finished reading!
Have you read any of these?  Who do you think will take the award?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Salon - October Readathon 2010 - Final Update


Reckless by Funke


Those last hours of the ReadAThon were really tough.  I took a nap, read some more, and then ended up going to bed around 2:30 am.  My total reading time was a little over 10 hours so I missed my personal goal of 12 hours even though I actually read as many pages!  I feel pretty good!   I spent a lot of time cheerleading and on twitter and really felt connected.  All in all, it was a great time!


ReadAThon Update
Number of books read since you started:
4
The Familiars by Epstein and Jacobson
Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge
Stuck on Earth by David Klass
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

Pages read since last update:
Reckless - 138 pages
Behemoth - 44? - ebook
Lulu and the Brontosaurus - 113 pages

Running total of pages read since you started:
1147

Amount of time spent reading since last update:
2 hr 15 min

Running total of time spent reading since you started:
10 hr 15 min

Participants you visited:
20 - I had a lot of fun cheerleading!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Readathon October 2010 - Update 4 - Stuck on Earth by David Klass


Stuck on Earth by Klass


Tom Filber or Ketchvar III? Ketchvar believes he was sent to Earth to determine if a race of people who were mean to each other and the place they lived on was worth saving. He was bullied by his family and by people in the neighborhood but the help of the school counselor, a neighbor he noticed but didn't know, and an old teacher, he learns more about who he is and what he's supposed to do.

Although Stuck on Earth has a great many funny parts, it's not a funny book. The issues of bullying and environmental damage are real and happen much the way Klass has pointed out in his book. The ending wrapped up a little neatly but it was necessary after the emotional trauma Tom and Ketchvar suffer throughout the book.

I give this one 3 copies. It's good but I will have to find the right audience. Pair this one with Operation Redwood and Klass' other book, Firestorm.

ReadAThon Update
Number of books read since you started:
3
The Familiars by Epstein and Jacobson
Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge
Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Pages read since last update:
Heart of a Samurai - 25 pages
Reckless - 70 pages
Stuck on Earth - 227

Running total of pages read since you started:
850

Amount of time spent reading since last update:
3 hr 25 min

Running total of time spent reading since you started:
8 hours

Readathon October 2010 - Update 3 - Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs


Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Koertge

Kevin Boland likes to play baseball and to write poetry. His dad is also a writer. His dad buys him a spiral notebook and he uses that as his secret diary. Kevin is fourteen and dating Mira (pronounced Mee-ra) who's into saving the planet. She doesn't get him. Then he meets a girl who does. They become poetry buddies but Kevin wants more. He's not sure what to do about Mira, though, because he likes her too.

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is written in free verse but every so often Koertge throws in some poetry forms. This book had a great story and great poems. Koertge threw in a villanelle, a pantoum, a sestina, and a ghazal. You don't know what they are? Don't worry, Koertge weaves in the poetry lessons effortlessly. I would love to see this being used in a classroom! I must go back and read Shakespeare Bats Cleanup now, though you don't need it to understand this one.

I give this 4 copies. I will copy a few of the poems and put them in teacher's boxes and see if I can't get them to want the book! Pair this with What My Mother Doesn't Know, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Pieces of Georgia.

ReadAthon Update


Number of books read since you started:
2
The Familiars by Epstein and Jacobson
Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge

Pages read since last update:
170
Running total of pages read since you started:
530
Amount of time spent reading since last update:
1 hr 20 min
Running total of time spent reading since you started:
4 hrs 35 min

I'm off to to do a little cheering and get some dinner.

Readathon October 2010 - Update 2 - The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson


The Familiars by Epstein and Jacobson


Skylar, Gilbert and Aldwyn are familiars - animals chosen by witches and wizards to help them with their magic and to be companions. Well, Skylar and Gilbert are familiars while Aldwyn is just an alley cat who fell through the right window at the right time! He made a close escape from Grimslade the bounty hunter and got a nice house out of it too!

The three familiars go on a quest to save their loyals, the human companions, because they were kidnapped by the evil queen Loranella. Queen Loranella killed the children's tutor, Kalstaff, and then took Jack, Dalton, and Marianne somewhere and hid them. The familiars have to rescue their loyals within three days; before the protective spell on them vanishes, leaving the children to the mercy of the evil queen.

The Familiars is a fast-paced action packed humor-filled adventure story. The three familiars have to overcome many obstacles on their way to find the children, including their own pasts. They have to rely on each other for strength and support, and that's not something they know how to do. Along the way, they also uncover a secret that just might change everything we know about familiars.

I give The Familiars 4 copies. It will checked out and put on hold constantly. I would display this with Harry Potter and The Golden Compass.

Title of book(s) read since last update:
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
really enjoying this so far.  I can see how it would be appealing to students who like action and adventure.  Although there are humans in the book, I think the animals will make it appealing to even more students.


ReadAThon Update 2



Number of books read since you started:
1
Pages read since last update:
150
Running total of pages read since you started:
360
Amount of time spent reading since last update:
1 hr 15 min
Running total of time spent reading since you started:
3 hrs 15 min
Mini-challenges completed:
0
Other participants you’ve visited:
 11

Readathon October 2010 - Update 1 - The Familiars

Title of book(s) read since last update:
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
really enjoying this so far.  I can see how it would be appealing to students who like action and adventure.  Although there are humans in the book, I think the animals will make it appealing to even more students.





Number of books read since you started:
0 = still reading
Pages read since last update:
210
Running total of pages read since you started:
210
Amount of time spent reading since last update:
2 hours
Running total of time spent reading since you started:
2 hours
Mini-challenges completed:
0
Other participants you’ve visited:
leeswammes.wordpress.com
knigolandiya.info
lissalongyarn.blogspot.com

Readathon October 2010 - Kickoff Post

Good morning! I start the October ReadAThon at 8 am - only 45 minutes away! I'm infusing my body with coffee and cereal to help me make it through at least my first book.  I'll be reading and cleaning today with a short trip to the bookstore, the library sales, and possibly the library. 

Here are some of the books I want to tackle:
  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs
  • The Familiars
  • Heart of a Samurai - Mock Newbery
  • Reckless
  • Lulu and the Brontasaurus
  • The War to End All Wars - Mock Newbery
It seems like a good mix of contemporary realistic, fantasy and historical fiction. 

Here's how my posts should look:

Title of book(s) read since last update:

Number of books read since you started:

Pages read since last update:

Running total of pages read since you started:

Amount of time spent reading since last update:

Running total of time spent reading since you started:

Mini-challenges completed:

Other participants you’ve visited:

I'll be cheerleading too! So look for me around the blogosphere and on twitter at http://twitter.com/thebrainlair.  I'll update after each book or every 3 or so hours whichever comes first.

Happy Reading!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Saturday Stories kit by Lien