Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Linked by Gordon Korman

 Michael is at school after hours picking up something from his locker when he runs into the school janitor.  They are talking and look up to discover a swastika painted on the ceiling of the school.  Why would someone put that on the ceiling of the school?  The principal and teachers are very upset by this and decide that the students need some education about the history of the symbol and what it actually means.  At first, the students are resistant and not wanting to learn about it until they hear about the stories of the Holocaust.  Students are learning about the Holocaust and what happened, BUT another swastika is painted in a different location.  Then, another.  Then, another.  Who is doing this?  After learning about the meaning behind the symbol, why would someone do this?  You can find out by reading Linked by Gordon Korman.

I have read many books by Gordon Korman over the years, and this one does not disappoint.  Told in differing viewpoints, Korman weaves a tale that explores hatred, secrets, ignorance, learning, and redemption.  I highly recommend this book.  If you need a copy, I can recommend a place to get it. (Hint--it's the Ridgeview library.  You can get it at the Ridgeview Library.)

New School Year, New Goals

 Every school year, I hope to keep the blog up with the books that I am reading or at least with books I've read recently.  

Here is the new school year--on the third week, and this is my first post.

What can I say?  I am human, and I have many things that I want to do.

But, it is a new school year, and I always want to promote books.

So, here I am again--renewing my goal of blogging about the books that I am reading.  I hope to write some quick notes about books I read over the summer to get started.  Then, I will settle into a rhythm of choosing a day or days to write about some good books to read.

For those who work in the same field that I do, you understand.  We get caught in the daily minutia, and what looked like a simple task becomes monumental.  But, I am resolute to get started with more good books to share with those who are here again reading my reading ramblings.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee'

 Shayla just wants to stay out of trouble.  She doesn't want to cause any problems or make any waves.  She wants to lay low.  But, as things happen around her, she has to make a decision.  Her sister is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, but Shay just doesn't think that she is that passionate about the movement.  

Then, there is a protest, and she realizes very quickly that she cannot stand by and stay silent.  Some rules are worth breaking when there is injustice.  It's time for her to get into some "good trouble".

This was a very good book, and it really explores what is going on in the news in a very accessible way.  I highly recommend this book.

If you would like to see a book trailer for this title, watch below.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Out of My Heart by Sharon Draper

 Melody wants to go to summer camp just like her friends at school.  She has done her research, and she has found a camp that is close to home and affordable.  But, Melody has never been away from home even though she is in middle school.  Melody has cerebral palsy, and she must be pushed in a wheelchair and communicate with a machine.  

Melody wants to have some independence.  She believes it would be good for her and for her parents as well.  Her parents agree, and Melody gets a spot at the summer camp of her choice.  Now, that she all signed up and everything is ready to go, she is beginning to have second thoughts.  Can she really be away from her family?  Will she REALLY be able to do all of the things that they claim in the brochure?

Find out in Out of My Heart by Sharon Draper.

When I read Out of My Mind years ago, I was taken with Melody.  She was such a strong character, and I learned so much about what Melody was thinking.  Now, this goes into feelings and the desire for independence even in the face of fear.  Draper does a wonderful job of continuing Melody's story.  This is a MUST READ!

Below...listen to Sharon Draper read right from the first chapter.

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

 Donte and Trey are brothers.  Donte has darker skin, and Trey has lighter skin.  In fact, many people do not believe that they have the same parents, but they do.

Donte is wrongly accused by the school's fencing captain, and he is suspended from school.  Donte is determined to beat the bully at his own game, so he enlists the help of a champion fencing coach.  But, Donte must listen to all of the lessons that the coach is trying to teach him in order to understand how best to win.

Rhodes does a marvelous job of explaining both sides of an issue as she presents how both brothers feel when they are treated differently based on the color of their skin.  This book made me think as I consider how people are treated differently based on appearance.  I highly recommend reading this one.

If you would like to see a book trailer, check the one below.  Then, get to the library and check this book out to read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Playing the Cards You're Dealt by Varian Johnson

 Anthony Joplin is a card playing fool, but it runs in his family.  His grandfather was a spades champion; his dad is a spades champion, and his brother is a spades champion.  To be a Joplin man, you have to be a great spades player.  In spades, you have to have a good partner to win, but they play in class one day and get beaten by a GIRL.  His confidence is really shaken, and he is not sure what to do.  Then, his partner is grounded and cannot be his partner any longer.  What will he do?

Then, he wonders...this girl that beat him is a good spades player.  What would happen if they team up together?  Would he be a real Joplin man if he has a girl for a partner?  Will he be able to handle the pressures of what is going on at home and still bring home the championship?

Find out in Playing the Cards You're Dealt by Varian Johnson.

I enjoyed reading this book.  Anthony, Ant for short, is a great character, and I found myself really rooting for him to figure things out.  I wasn't the only one rooting for Ant, but I won't say more on that.  No spoilers here.  Ant is only ten years old in the book, but he thinks much older.  He is tired of people treating him like a little kid--even though by age, he is a little kid.  I highly recommend this book.  Hope you will enjoy reading it.

Here is a video with Varian Johnson telling about this book.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs

One day, Charlie was hanging out minding her own business when her brother walks in and tells her that he needs her help.  In fact, her country needs her help.  Charlie thinks he is being a bit dramatic, but she decides to listen to what he has to say.

Charlie is your average 12 year old genius.  She is a brilliant mathematician and a true Einstein aficionado or expert about Albert Einstein.  And, her knowledge about Albert Einstein makes her the person for the job--really the only person for the job.

Rumor has it that Einstein had one more equation that if in the right hands would be more dangerous than the equation used to make the atomic bomb.  And, the FBI has intel that the equation is about to fall into the wrong hands.  Hands that would indeed make the bomb and use it against the rest of the world.

Charlie must figure out where the equation is and how to keep it out of anyone's hands.  Can she do it and save the world?  Find out in Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation.

I really liked this book.  It is a suspenseful mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat.

If you would like to see more about this title, watch this book trailer.

#WOWWednesday #LoneStarBooks #Mystery