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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Out of my Mind     By: Sharon Draper
recommended by: Taylor H

Out of my Mind is about a girl named Melody with a big disadvantage. She was born with cerebral palsy. She can not do anything on her own, her parents have to help do everything for her. Like help her use the restroom, eat, and bathe but she can move her hands a little bit so she can point to letters on her wheelchair to talk. Melody is in the 8th grade and  in a special class for kids that have disabilities, but inside her head she is amazingly smart but doesn’t have any way of communicating it. Every morning she goes to her next door neighbors house and she takes her to school. Her neighbor Mrs. Valencia is a very important person in her life. One day Mrs. Valencia was on the computer and was looking at new wheelchairs for Melody. Melody saw a wheelchair that had a speaking device on it so she could talk through a computer hooked up to her wheelchair.  So Melody made the loudest noise she could to get Mrs. Valencia attention and it worked. The wheelchair came in the next week and everyone finally figured out how smart she was. She advanced to a higher 8th grade class where she was actually learning things. She got nominated to go out of state to compete in her classes science competition. Her and her class were all supposed to meet in the airport then go to the competition together, but once she got there they had all left. They all left because they didn’t think she would be good for them in the competition.

I loved this book because it was a true story and I loved that this was able to happen to Melody. This changed her life and this was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to her. She is able to speak everything that she knows and now she could be much more things when she gets older like a teacher or anything like that.

September Staff Picks

So, I am going to do something different than I have done before.  I am going to have some guest posts--the RMS library staff picks.  Every month, all library staff members will choose a book that is our staff pick of that month.  We will post reviews in the library, and I will post them here as well as other online places.  I think this will be fun for all involved.  Look for their staff picks coming soon to this blog near you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

At first, there is only one dead body that looks remarkably similar to a case long ago put to rest by the FBI.  The serial killer is in prison. So, why does this crime look so much like all of those dead bodies from one of the most cold-blooded killers the country has ever seen?  And, this cold-blooded killer is the father of one of the teen members of the Naturals group formed by the FBI to catch criminals.  When one body turns into two and three, the authorities go to the original source, and he says he will help if he can talk to his son.  As the secrets are shown and the mystery gets more deranged, this group of teens knows that they are the only chance to stop these murders.  Will they stay safe long enough to do that?  Answer that question by reading Killer Instinct.

This is the second installment in the Naturals series.  Generally, I don't like to read books out of order, but this one was a page turner.  You can definitely read it before reading the first one.  But, I am confident that you will be like me and want to read the first one after reading this one.  Super good read!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Proxy by Alex London

Synapsis from the publisher:Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

I enjoyed reading this novel, and I am intrigued for the sequel.  London definitely left me hanging at the end of this book.  If you are not sure, then watch this book trailer.    

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

From the Publisher:
Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but for Lily Sanderson, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily has a secret, and it’s not her huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid—she’s a Thalassinian princess. When she discovered three years ago that her mother was actually a human, Lily finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been going to Seaview High ever since. Living on land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type—when they bond, it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

This book has been out a while, but I did not remember whether or not I had read it. So, I started it one night.  I finished it the next morning, and it was such a good story.  I knew how it had to end, but I loved reading about it.  Great romantic fast read.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

There Will Be Bears by Ryan Gebhart

Thirteen-year-old Tyson loves hanging out with Gramps, his grandfather Gene, who is his best friend now that Brighton wants to be with the cool jocks. Gramps has to move to a nursing home because he is very sick, but Gramps has "bear promised" to take him on an elk hunt in the Grand Tetons. Tyson's parents have decided that Gramps is not in good enough shape to take the trip.  But, Gramps will not break a "bear promise".  They sneak off anyway, but Tyson wonders if he is tough enough to shoot and dress a six-hundred-pound elk. As if that is not enough, there have been multiple reports of bear attacks--right where they are going.  Will Gramps and Tyson make it through the trip or will the bear be too much for them?

I just finished this book, and it came to me at such a great time.  Just a few days before Father's Day...I read a super book about a boy, his father and his grandfather.  I have to say that I did not want to read the book.  Yes, I know that I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I did.  I should know better, but this one definitely had so much more to the story.  I highly recommend reading this book.  Gephart did a great job of making me want to read the next chapter after finishing one. This makes for a quick and enjoyable read.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

RMS Library Summer Hours

I am really excited to have summer hours.  I hope that the rain stays away so that folks will come by and visit me from 10--12 tomorrow.  I have some great books to share.  I started listening to a good one today.  Unbreakable by Kami Garcia.  And, I am in the middle of reading one at home--The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin.  I need to let you know the last few I have read.  But, that will have to wait for another day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Now, back to the books I have been reading.

From the Publisher:
Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.
A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.

This novel will definitely stick with you for a long time.  I found it a difficult one to read. It was hard to be inside Caden's head and see his struggles.  But, Shusterman does a masterful job of painting the picture of his struggle to understand what is real and what is not real. This is one worth reading--just give it a try.

Houston Rockets Non-reading school food drive post

Here is a post about our school food drive that is sponsored by the Ridgeview chapter of National Junior Honor Society.

The food drive committee decided that the theme should match up with the NBA championship.  They titled it The Final Can-offs.

We put the remaining 8 NBA teams in a bucket and teachers from the 4 academic teams randomly chose. This left 4 teams in the bucket.  My esteemed colleague and NJHS co-sponsor and I then chose--NOT randomly--our team.  We both love the Houston Rockets.  We were super excited that they were still in the bucket to be chosen.  We formed our team with staff members who do not have an advisory class.

When we chose our team name, the Rockets were down 3-1 in the series.  Things were not looking good for them.  Then, I watched as they won game 5 of that series.  Against some pretty strong odds (tough 3rd quarter), the Rockets came back and won game 6.  At that point, I put a box of 25 pounds of food together for our team.  Yesterday, the Rockets won game 7, and they are in the Final Four.

Some may call it a coincidence.  I choose to think that we have a connection with this great team. We want them to continue their winning streak and make it to the championship.  You are a great inspiration to us, and we hope that we are an inspiration to you as well.

Go Rockets!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Heir by Kiera Cass

So...I was not sure if I was going to read this book or not.  I thought once things were settled between America and Maxon that the story was over.  But, boy was I wrong.  The Heir is about their first born child and what they ask of her since she will one day be the queen.  If you have read the first three books in the series, that sentence should make you wonder because their society only allowed for a man to take the throne.  Cass brings about new ideas and a fresh approach to the selection process.  I do not want to give too much away with this blog post.  I will say that it was a quick read.  I loved, but I hated the ending--because it was the ending of the book.  I cannot wait until the final book in the series is released on October 6, 2015.  Until then, thank you Kiera for a great story.  Here is a quick pic of us together at the TLA conference.

And here is the trailer for the book.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is a curious young lady which is a dangerous thing in Victorian England.  Her mother wants her to settle down and become a proper lady, so she decides to send her to finishing school--Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality--to be precise.  However, this finishing academy is not at all as it appears.  Sophronia is taught to finish, but it is not exactly what her mother had in mind.  This academy is actually a school that teaches how to be a finisher in the "best families".
At first, the book was a bit slow for my taste, but it picked up enough to the point that I would like to read the next installment in the Finishing School series.  Take a look at this trailer to get a peek as to what someone else thought of the book.

The Summer of 2015

When May rolls around, I begin thinking about what my summer will hold.  Of course, I will be reading.  Hopefully, I will read some books that make me laugh, some that make me cry, some that make me think, and even more important, some that will make me feel.
I have liked to read for a long time, and it is hard for me to understand when people state that they do not like to read.  I do not like to exercise, and I am sure that some people may not understand my feelings about that subject.
This summer, I will read, and I will share my reading with as many people as I possibly can.  And, I will exercise--even though it is not my favorite.  I hope that people will join me in reading so that we will grow as a community.  If we do not explore new things, we risk being stagnant.
I am going to extend the challenge to read more than I do to all of my students, staff and parents.  I hope that students will accept the challenge and beat me.  Please, read more than I do.  Please, share with me what you read.  I really want to know so that my list may get longer and longer of books I want to read.

Happy reading!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

From the publisher:  Danny Wright never thought he'd be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the governor's orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission ... but then Danny's gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.

Well, who knew that my first book of 2015 would be a high school book and the first in a trilogy.  But, alas it is both of these.  That being said, it was an interesting book that really made me think about federalism vs. states rights.  In the USA, we take so much for granted, and this book brings up the point while also putting it in the perspective of a 17 year old kid. Yes, I said kid because that is what Danny is.  As a mother of a 17 year old boy who believes that he is 7 foot tall and bullet proof, I have a unique perspective with this novel.  It hit way too close to home.

I highly recommend this book for an older crowd--14 and up in my humble opinion.  Thanks so much for this book, Mr. Reedy, that made me think and question how I would feel if I was put in a similar situation.  That folks is what I would call a good read.