Monday, December 25, 2017

On the 12th Day of Book Suggestions...Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica

Molly and her mom...that is how life was for Molly.  Until Molly's mom lost her battle with cancer.  Right before that time, Molly's mom shared with her that her dad just happens to be a basketball superstar.  Molly goes to meet him, and he is less than receptive to the idea of having a child.  She is looking for a miracle, but she is not sure what she wants that miracle to be.  Find out whether or not Molly will get a dad for Christmas in this holiday tale. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

On the 11th Day of Book Suggestions...Code of Honor by Alan Gratz

Kamran Smith is a loyal American citizen, but will he have a chance to prove his worthiness because of his brother's actions.  Kamran's brother is serving the United States overseas, but he has gone rogue.  He is being accused of being a terrorist.  Kamran cannot believe it--he won't believe it.  Kamran knows that something is NOT right.  There is no way that his brother would do the evil things that people are accusing him of doing.  But, how does Kamran explain the video?  Is Kamran wrong?  No, he cannot be wrong.  His brother is a loyal American, and Kamran sets out to prove it by sticking to their Code of Honor.

This is a great book, and I highly recommend it. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

On the 10th Day of Book Suggestions...Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Here is another OBAG--oldie but a goodie.  If you have never read, it is time for you to pick it up.  If you have read it, it might be time for a re-read.

Margaret is in 7th grade, and she and her friends are going through the normal things that 7th grade girls go through.  Margaret is struggling because her parents have decided that they will let her make her mind up about religion.  Her father was raised in the Jewish faith, and her mother was raised in a Christian household.  When they got married, none of their parents were happy.  Her mother's parents completely disowned her, and Margaret has never met them.  Now that Margaret is 12, she starts wondering about God and begins to seek him by attending worship services with various friends and her paternal grandmother.  This book is funny, yet poignant.  Give it a try.

Product Details

Friday, December 22, 2017

On the 9th Day of Book Suggestions...Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

In this ALTERNATE HISTORY novel, Hitler and the Axis Powers won World War 2.  Ya-el is a shape shifter who can transform into anyone she wants.  She is also a resistance fighter, and she has been given the task of assuming the identity of Adele Wolf so that she can compete in the Axis Tour and eventually assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Since the ending of World War 2, Hitler does not appear in public for fear of assassination.  No one can get near him.  But, he has a soft spot for Adele Wolf because she won the race the previous year disguised as someone else.  Ya-el is the only hope for the Resistance to get rid of Hitler once and for all.  Can she do it?  Will she be able to impersonate Adele long enough to pull off the biggest ruse of the century?  Find out in Wolf by Wolf. 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

On the 8th Day of Book Suggestions...Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

Addie was kidnapped from her parents' home eight years ago.  Now, she has returned, but her family does not live in the same place any longer.  Her family now resides in the White House.  Addie sees her family and friends, but things are different now--and not just the address.  Addie is different.  Is this person really Addie?  How did she escape from her kidnappers?  Did she escape or did they let her go for another reason? Find out in this quick page-turner.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On the 7th Day of Book Suggestions...A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

Ellie is having a bad day.  It is a Monday, and it is quite a Monday.  Over the weekend, Ellie's boyfriend broke up with her--sort of, and she is determined to get him back.  But, this Monday is not going as planned, and he is not interested in getting back together with her at all.  She just wants the day to be over.  Finally, the day ends, and she wakes up to a new day--except that it is not a new day.  She is going to do the Monday over again.  Maybe things will be different the second time around.  She still has a bad day, but she gets to try again a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time, a sixth time and a seventh time.  She has a whole week of Mondays.  The thing is--this gives Ellie some perspective.  She can now see things in an entirely different light.  What she thought she wanted may not be as important to her after all.

This is a fun book that I had a great time reading.  I think you will like it. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On the 6th Day of Book Suggestions...Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Melody is not like her peers.  She cannot walk or talk or communicate in any way.  BUT, she has a photographic memory.  The problem is that no one knows this fact because she cannot communicate her amazing thoughts.  In school, they start her on the alphabet even though she is capable of SO MUCH MORE.  Finally, a teacher introduces a new type of technology that allows her the opportunity to communicate all of the things that she has been thinking.  So, Melody's thoughts can come out of her mind. 

This book is what I term OBAG--oldie but a goodie.  It is amazing and shows what is gained from listening to people even when they are not saying anything. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

On the 5th day...Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Jes is a phenomenonal athlete, and she has shown a real gift at running the "Fives" which is a series of intricate endurance tests.  She has hidden this from her father because girls are not supposed to do this--it would not be proper.  But, when her father's patron dies, things change dramatically in their lives.  She is called upon to train alongside a noble born young man.  Intrigue abounds at every turn in this interesting novel.  Jes shows that she will not be judged by her gender or her station.  This is an incredible audiobook, so if you need a book to go with you on your holiday travels--check it out.

Front Cover

Sunday, December 17, 2017

On the 4th Day...Choosing Courage: Inspiring true stories about what it means to be a hero by Peter Collier

This book shares stories of heroes from World War 2, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and civilian life.  Find inspiration and courage from reading about these true life instances.

Front Cover

Saturday, December 16, 2017

On the 3rd Day...Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost is fast--really fast.  In fact, that is where he got his nickname--because he is like a Ghost--so fast.  He started running because he wanted to get away from bad things including his own father, but now, he has decided to join a running club with a coach who knows from experience about making questionable choices.  Will Ghost be able to make the team?  Is he good enough?  Will his decisions keep him off the team?  Find out in this super story about forgiveness and the human spirit.

Front Cover

Friday, December 15, 2017

On the 2nd day...Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter

Simon Thorn is your typical awkward 12 year old 7th grade boy...or IS HE?  Simon has a secret that he has been trying to hide.  He can talk to animals, and he has kept this secret for a long time.  But, one day a bird tells him that the rats are coming for him, and he goes home to find that his mom has already been taken by the rats.  Then, he finds out who is in charge of this group of rats and the other animals in this secret society of people.  What he finds out is that his secret is NOTHING compared to what his mom and uncle have been keeping from him.  Simon has an entire family that he knew nothing about.  Who can he trust?  Will he be able to save his mom and his uncle and the world as he knows it?  Find out in this thrilling page turner.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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

I must begin these suggestions with one that truly has tugged 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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day @ the Ridgeview Library

Having worked with middle school students through many Valentine's Days, I know that it can be a mixed bag of emotions, moods and overall craziness.  Well...I have always said...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  So, we are promoting books through "Blind Date with a Book".

As students come into the library, we are giving them the chance to have a #blinddatewithabook.  The books are in plain brown paper bags with a very brief introduction.  If they choose to check it out, then they must agree to give the book a chance before deciding to continue reading it or returning it.

Yesterday, we had 10 different classes in the library to check out books.  I told them about the promotion, and many of them decided to test fate and try a blind date.

Best line of the day: "I'm going to leave the book in the bag because it reminds me of lunch, and I am hungry for words."

I know that it is cheesy, but I love it.  I love it when the students feel comfortable enough to share their crazy notions.  It is rather enlightening to their senses of humor and personality.

Yes, I love working with middle school students.  I count my blessings every day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Threads by Ami Polonsky

Clara is a twelve year old American girl whose sister, Lola, has just died from cancer.  One of Clara's friends decides to take her out shopping to get her mind off of her grief.  Clara goes with her friend, but she does not want to be there.  She is hiding from her friend when she sees a purse and buys it on a whim.  When she gets home, she looks through it and finds a note.  The note is from a Chinese girl named Yuming telling of her plight in a factory in China.  Clara feels a strong pull to do something, and she knows that she must go to China.  Will she be able to do anything?  Was there a reason that the note made it to Clara out of all of the people in America?  Find out in Threads.

This book fascinated me due to the fact that it was told in the viewpoints of Clara and Yuming.  Polonsky tells us the story of these two girls as they intersect with each other.  I guess that my favorite part was the message that we are truly not alone in the world even if we do not know all that is going on around us.  I could go into more detail about this point, but I don't want to ruin the book for you. it, and reach out to talk to me about it.  It is a definite good read.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

From the publisher:
Girls started vanishing in the fall.
For Maggie Larsen, the town of Gill Creek is only a stopgap before college and freedom. Until she meets Pauline and Liam. What starts as an uneventful year suddenly changes. Someone is killing teenage girls, and the town reels from the tragedy. As Maggie's and Pauline's worlds collide and change around them, they will both experience love and loss. And by the end of the book...

This page turner had me guessing until the end exactly what was going on in this little town.  The story revolves around the three teens mentioned above--Maggie, Pauline and Liam; however, we also get to hear from a ghost who lived in the house where Maggie has moved into.  Why is the ghost there?  How does it link to the story?  I had my guesses, but Anderson did a wonderful job of telling the story and letting me try to figure it out.  I highly recommend this one.  You will not be disappointed.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Publisher's abstract:
Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832. But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips, Charlotte finds herself the lone passenger on a long sea voyage with a cruel captain and a mutinous crew. Worse yet, soon after stepping aboard the ship, she becomes enmeshed in a conflict between them! What begins as an eagerly anticipated ocean crossing turns into a harrowing journey, where Charlotte gains a villainous enemy . . . and is put on trial for murder!

This book has been around for a very long time, but somehow I had not read it.  I decided it was time to change that and read the book.  I am so thankful that I did.  This is a historical fiction pageturner. 
Charlotte is only 13 years old, but her father holds a high position in the company that owns the ship on which she is traveling.  The crew is very glad that she is on board because they need a credible witness, but a witness to what exactly she is not quite sure.  I highly recommend this novel even though the cover is less than appealing.  We definitely have to look past the cover to get to this great read.