Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Book Whisperer

Donalyn Miller just shared some of her book choices for 2011. Add these to your summer reading list!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen was one of the nicest young ladies walking around ALA. My students absolutely love her books, as do I. Please take a look at her site where she discusses all her books. She deserves all the recognition she gets, she inspires young ladies to read, read, read.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ALA with Jeff Kinney

All the hype surrounding Jeff Kinney's visit was his new book coming out in the fall. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever is the much awaited sequel in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. Jeff Kinney is such a pleasant young man and I was so excited to meet him. I for one can't wait for this next installment in the series.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Clarity by Kim Harrington

This is Kim Harrington's first novel. Her debut work has suspense, murder, romance and great characters. Clarity is spunky and smart and her family ties are tight. I think girls will love her and want to see what Harrington comes out with next. 4 stars

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Exposed is written in free verse and tells the heart wrenching story of two friends torn apart by an accusation of rape. It is beautifully written and told from the point of view of Liz, an aspiring photographer. Elizabeth Grayson's whole family is torn apart as they deal with the loss of Kate, someone they considered part of their family, and Mike - a son/brother they are struggling to believe. 5 stars

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Flinn takes fairytales like The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Frog Prince, The Golden Bird, and The Six Swans - then weaves them into a magical tale. Cloaked has all the elements of excitement: adventure, danger, and love. Tweens and teens will find this book delightful. 5 stars

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Dreamer

The Dreamer by: Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis

This fictional biography captures the sensitive life of Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize-winning poet. Born Neftali Reyes, Neftali struggles to have his father's approval and understanding, unfortunately, it doesn't happen. Neftali's overbearing father is continuously disappointed with his creative and poetic son. "You are nothing but a brittle twig", he tells little Neftali. My heart went out to the young Neftali, but his beautiful nature and poetic voice is detailed with Ryan's artistic writing. 4 stars.


Countdown by Deborah Wiles

I listened to the audio version of this book and loved it. This historical novel takes place in 1962 in suburban Maryland. 11-year-old adolescent Franny is realizing how scary the relations are between the United States and Russia. Wiles brings the history of the times alive with the historical events taking place around Franny's young life. This novel was wonderfully written and lends itself to becoming a well-loved read aloud. 5 stars

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by:

I am not normally a fan of historical fiction, but Alchemy and Meggy Swann was a wonderful novel. I listened to the audio version and that really helped bring the novel to life. Cushman has created a wonderful heroine in Meggy Swann and her ability to transport you to a different era is incredible. The sights and sounds of old town London surround you and make you feel like you are right there with Meggy as she blossoms throughout the book.

Moon over Manifest

Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

I am not sure why it has taken me so long to read this. I suspect it was the cover that just didn't seem to appeal to me. This is truly the best book I have read in a long time. Please don't judge this book by its cover. This 2011 Newberry Award Winner has every aspect of a great read. Abigail Turner will steal your heart, Shady and Sadie are lovable characters and the adventure that Vanderpool takes you on is memorable.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Tale Dark and Grimm

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Gidwitz does such an incredible job of creating an addendum to Grimm's Hansel and Gretel, you will find yourself finishing this book in a sitting. He carefully warns you in the beginning, "But don't worry. This story is like no story you've ever heard. You see, Hansel and Gretel don't just show up at the end of this story. They show up. And then they get their heads cut off. Just thought you'd like to know." He has this sort of dialogue with the reader throughout the book. A Tale Dark & Grimm not only has Hansel and Gretel losing their heads, a kidnapping, brothers being turned into swallows, a faithful servant turned into stone, a severed finger... Well I could go on, but I don't want to ruin it. Kids in upper elementary will LOVE this book. Another five star book!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Freak Observer

The Freak Observer by: Blythe Woolston

I really loved this book. The humor offsets the tragic circumstances of Loa's struggle to cope with not only one death, but two deaths. Loa uses her love of physics to try to explain details of her life. Only, physics can't explain everything. Woolston creates the perfect character to take you on journey of heartache and acceptance. This novel is definitely meant for a high school audience. This is a five star read.