Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fish in a Tree Padlet Activity

For the Global Read Aloud, we are asking our students to write comments about the first chapters on padlets.  We have 3 different groups reading Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt.

Here are the links for the different padlets.

6th grade book club

3rd period

6th period

I like the way that the students are responding to the book.  It is such fun to work with them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

House Arrest by K A Holt

From the Publisher
Timothy is on probation. It's a strange word--something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for an entire year. And mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. By turns touching and funny, and always original, House Arrest is a middle grade novel in verse about one boy's path to redemption as he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer.

This is not only a quick read--it is a must read.  Timothy is one of those characters that shows his raw emotions, and you cannot help but root for him.  He makes some rash decisions, but he does it with a pure heart.  I cannot say enough about this book.  Don't walk to get it from the library--run.  Then, pass it on to a friend.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

From the Publisher:

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Wow!  This was such a page turner that I am feeling the effects of staying up way too late reading.  Mare is a typical heroine in that I felt myself telling her as every other character in the book told her--don't trust anyone.  Of course, she trusts and pays the price.  I saw it coming, but I could not stop reading it anyway.  The publisher compared it to Graceling and The Selection, and I agree. However, I was reminded of The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima.  Any book that reminds me of The Demon King is a definite good read. At this point, the only bad thing that I have to say about this book is that the sequel will not be out until next year.  That is too long to make me wait.  Alas, I will have to find some other good reads in the meantime.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

From the Publisher: One kid. One crime. One chance to make things right.

It was a bitterly cold day when Arthur T. Owens grabbed a brick and hurled it at the trash picker. Arthur had his reasons, and the brick hit the Junk Man in the arm, not the head. But none of that matters to the judge—he is ready to send Arthur to juvie for the foreseeable future. Amazingly, it’s the Junk Man himself who offers an alternative: 120 hours of community service . . . working for him.
Arthur is given a rickety shopping cart and a list of the Seven Most Important Things: glass bottles, foil, cardboard, pieces of wood, lightbulbs, coffee cans, and mirrors. He can’t believe it—is he really supposed to rummage through people’s trash? But it isn’t long before Arthur realizes there’s more to the Junk Man than meets the eye, and the “trash” he’s collecting is being transformed into something more precious than anyone could imagine. . . .
In this coming of age story, Arthur reminds me of Stanley in Holes.  He makes friends with an unlikely kid at school, and they set out on a quest that shows them things are not by chance.  I enjoyed this one immensely.  Don't miss out on this good read @ Your Ridgeview Library.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt

Tate P. Ellerbee must choose a pen pal for her assignment at school, but she chooses someone who may seem like an unlikely match for a 10 year old girl.  She chooses Hank Williams who is on the radio, and she feels a strong bond with.
Tate has a lot to say as she puts her feelings into the letters to Hank Williams.  She begins on a surface level, but after time, she shares with him her innermost thoughts.
This may not sound like an exciting book or one that would grab the attention of a middle school student, but if that is your thought, you would be wrong.  Tate has quite a few issues that are filling her mind, and the author does a superb job of revealing each of the issues one at a time so that you can fathom what she must be feeling and experiencing.  The entire book is written in the letters, and it is cleverly written so that you will want to keep reading until you find out all of her secrets.  Tate is a likable and believable character.  Catch this good read while you can.

Not sure who Hank Williams is?  Watch this video of one of his songs.  Funny thing, I read The Outsiders again recently, and he was in that book, too.

Enterprise, the New Library Interface

I feel like I should hear the theme song from Star Trek--to go where no one has gone before...  In fact, I can't help myself.  Here it is.

Our library catalog has a new interface titled Enterprise.  You may now log in using your ID number.  Your 6 digit student ID number is your username and your password.  You may search for books, create lists, place holds, etc.  It will also have a list of new books that the library gets which will updated very frequently to help you choose the right book for you.

It is exciting to have this new way to search for library materials.  Here is the link to the new interface.

Enterprise Library Catalog


Monday, September 28, 2015

Free to Use Picture Resources for Book Trailers

When I first began making book trailers, I used pictures that I took myself.  This helped me so that I did not have to worry about copyright, etc.  However, when you want to make a trailer quickly, it helps tremendously to use pictures from other sources.  Below are great places to find images that are free to use, and the photographer has given express permission to use them.  You still need to give credit, but this can easily be done by providing a list of picture resources at the end of the trailer.  I encourage you to use these resources to find good images for your book trailers.