Thursday, December 14, 2017

On the 1st Day...Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

I must begin these suggestions with one that truly has touched at my heartstrings.  It is Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.

Red is a tree--a very old tree.  She has seen a lot, and she is a haven to many creatures from humans to crows.  Once a year, people will put wishes on Red, and she has held them faithfully.  Until one day, a wish is left on Red that is not welcoming or kind.  Red, along with her crow friend, Bongo set out to mend the situation. 

In this quick read, Applegate helps us to understand the importance of words and the weight they can carry.  Additionally, she weaves in messages about acceptance and kindness. 

You will not be disappointed when you pick up Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.

12 Book Suggestions

So...admittedly, I get bogged down with the here and now in life.  This brings me to my lack of follow through for a book of the week reminder that I began a while back.  I started having more consistency this year until the middle of October.  Then, I got my first sinus infection of the school year.  While this is not an excuse for not delivering on what I had intended, it is an explanation.

Now, I am committed to getting back on track, but to make it up to the few who were paying attention, I will be having 12 book suggestions leading up to Christmas.  A 12 Days of Christmas Celebration if you will...

Stay tuned because today is the start of this 12 Days of Book Suggestions.  There are some really good ones in store.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

Maya and Nikki are identical twins who are identical in every way--well, not exactly.  They may look identical, but there thoughts and reactions to things are anything but identical.  When their best friend Essence moves away, they are both sad, but Nikki becomes fast friends with the girl who moves into Essence's old house.  In fact, Nikki is in favor of many of the things that are moving into their Portland neighborhood with the gentrification plans by the city including trendy restaurants and shops.  Maya wants things to stay the same because she feels like Nikki is forgetting her roots.

In this story, the characters deal with real issues and must figure out the best way to deal with people on both sides of the racial divide that they find in their school and neighborhood.

Watson does an amazing job of defining the characters and the elements of the story so that readers will have the opportunity to explore their own thoughts and feelings about what is happening in their world.  I highly recommend reading this one.

Kalahari by Jessica Khouri

Summary from the publisher:  "Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret. But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own? When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide"

Only one of those teens actually knows what she is doing, and she is very concerned with finding her dad.  He has gone to get rid of poachers and plans to be back by nightfall.  He does not make it back, so of course, these teens must go searching for him.  What they find is disturbing and scary.  It is a great adventure that I highly recommend.  

Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes

Garvey is a bookworm who is not interested in sports. AT. ALL.  Sports is all that his dad wants to talk to him about.  Garvey finds comfort in food which makes the distance between his dad and him even wider.  Garvey's best friend tells him that he needs to stand up for himself.  Garvey has a choice.  He can live his life in the same way, or he can make a difference.  Which way will he go?

Most of us get to a crossroads where we have to decide the life that we will have.  I encourage you to read about Garvey.  This novel in verse is so well done.  I literally felt as though I could quote each page because it was truly meaningful stuff.  Check out the #booksnap I did.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happy National Book Lover's Day

Since it is National Book Lover's Day, I must post about...well...a book.

People ask me all of the time what my favorite book is.  Of course, I have an all time favorite, but my real answer is generally one of the books that I just read because the characters are fresh in my mind.  That does not mean that I love every book that I read or that I am indecisive.  Okay, it could mean that I am indecisive, but I digress.

I want to tell you about the book that I finished last night.  It was a twist on an old tale, and the author even put a teaser in there about another old tale.  So...without further ado...the book is The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury.  This is the second book I have read by this author in the last few weeks, and she is a good story teller.  Back to The Forbidden Wish...

A 17 year old boy finds himself in a cave that he has been drawn to by a strange magic.  He finds a lamp, but this is no ordinary lamp.  This lamp contains a jinni who is the most powerful jinni known to civilization.  This jinni has been locked in this lamp for almost 500 years until the boy picks it up.

Okay, by now, you probably realize that this is a story about a boy named Aladdin, but in this tale, the jinni is actually a girl named Zhara.  In Khoury's rendition, the story is told from Zhara's point of view and she is able to give the readers more insight as to why she was in the lamp in the first place as well as why she wants to get out.

Yes, you may know the basic story, but you will want to read The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury.  It will not disappoint you.

Monday, March 6, 2017

An oldie but a goodie...Hawksong

The week before spring break always presents challenges in the library.  Most folks are ready for a break--and for students that may mean a break from everything academic.  See...for me, reading is academic and it is NOT at the same time.  I am growing my brain by reading, but it provides me with such enjoyment that it is not academic at all.

For spring break, I am challenging our faculty and staff to read and post what they are reading to share with others.  #RRockReads  Of course, anyone is allowed to join in the sharing, but I am hoping that our staff members will be reading something for fun over the break.

To that end, I would like to suggest some good books to read.

Last night, I watched a show that I have enjoyed for several seasons, Madam Secretary.  In last night's episode, there were two young people who wanted to end the strife in their country.  It reminded me of a book that I read years ago, but I still like to recommend it to students and staff.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Danica Shardae and Zane Cobriana are both shapeshifters.  They are both in line to take the throne in their respective countries.  They both want to end the war that has been plaguing their countries for decades.  Danica and Zane seek outside counsel to figure out a solution to this problem.  The outside counsel suggests that they form an unbreakable alliance--marriage.  Danica and Zane agree even though they both had other plans in that area of their lives.  Will they be able to bring about peace between their two countries?  Will it actually make things worse?  Find out in this thrilling page turner.